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Home Heating Devices Can Cause House Fires

According to the Indianapolis Fire Department (IFD), unattended heating sources like candles and space heaters are to blame for several recent house fires. While the temperature continues to fluctuate, cold weather is here and Citizens Energy Group and IFD remind everyone to practice home heating safety this winter.

“Earlier this year Citizens announced natural gas bills are projected to be about 20% lower than they were this time last year,” said Jeffrey Harrison, President and CEO of Citizens. “We know, however, some customers will still struggle to pay their bill. Financial assistance is still available for those who qualify. And, home heating safety tips are simple and can save money and lives.”

Home Heating Tips
  • Install Alarms – Every home should have working smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms on each level, preferably located near a bedroom. These alarms should be checked monthly to ensure the batteries are working. CO is a deadly, odorless gas created by malfunctioning furnaces and improper use of fuel-burning space heaters. If you suspect CO, get outside immediately and call 911. 
  • Check Furnace – Hire a licensed technician to inspect your furnace and chimney annually. In addition, change your furnace filter once a month. A clean filter keeps your furnace operating more efficiently and your home warmer.
  • Use Space Heaters Wisely – Create a three-foot safety zone around a space heater, taking special care to keep the space heater away from anything flammable, like furniture and draperies.  Fuel-burning space heaters can create deadly CO, so make sure to use a model approved for indoor use. 
  • Never Use an Oven as a Heating Source – Long-term, continuous use of a natural gas oven can create a buildup of deadly CO in your home. Therefore, it is never safe to use an oven as a way to heat your home.
“Each winter, people lose their lives and their homes in house fires. The improper use of heating devices often cause the fires and non-working smoke and CO alarms provide no warning for residents to get out of the house in time,” said IFD Chief Ernest Malone. “The simple steps listed above will ensure a much safer home this winter season.”

If you need assistance this winter, please contact Connect to Help 211. 

About Citizens Energy Group

Citizens Energy Group provides safe and reliable utility services to about 800,000 people in the Indianapolis area. Citizens operates its utilities only for the benefit of customers and the community. Additional information is available online at Facebook - Twitter - LinkedIn - YouTube

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