Ottumwa Fire Department Issues Indoor Heating Reminder

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With colder weather on the horizon, the Ottumwa Fire Department issued a reminder on the use of heating sources indoors.

The Ottumwa Fire Department reminded the public about the dangers of using heaters that are not designed for unventilated spaces such as being used in homes. Unvented propane heaters may significantly impact indoor air quality and as a result, become
a severe health concern. The types of heaters being referenced are open flame type heaters that vent the unburned products of combustion into the same environment. Proper ventilation is needed to remove pollutants such as carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide. Properly operating furnaces and heaters designed and rated for residential use are the only fuel-fired appliances that can be safely
operated and need to be maintained. The types of heaters that connect directly to propane cylinders typically are not safe for use in residential settings due to the lack of safety and tip-over safety features with items coming in contact with the open flame.

The Ottumwa Fire Department recommends that you never store or use propane cylinders inside your home especially in basements as propane is heavier than air. If you ever smell gas in your home vacate the home and call 911. Do not turn off or on any switches or appliances. When using electric space heaters never use an extension cord or power strip. Always plug them directly into a wall
receptacle. If breakers trip or fuses blow, the circuits are overloading. Try using a different receptacle or circuit and if the problem continues contact an electrician.

The department wants to remind everyone with the cold weather season upon us, to be cautious when using any types of heating equipment as there are inherent dangers with each one. Have properly working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in your home and test them monthly. If you cannot remember the last time you changed your alarm batteries then this is a great time as daylight savings time ends on Sunday November 6, 2022.

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