Mass. Fire Marshal Issues Cold Weather Advisory, Shares Heating Tips

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STOW, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — With frigid temperatures expected for Tuesday, the State's Fire Marshal's Office has issued a cold weather advisory and reminded residents to be wary of fire and carbon monoxide hazards while heating their homes.

“Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are your first line of defense,” State Fire Marshal Peter Ostroskey said. “They should be installed on every floor of the residence and tested monthly to be sure they’re working properly. If an alarm is ‘chirping’ due to low batteries, replace the batteries right away – don’t disable the alarm. If the alarm is more than 10 years old, it’s time to replace it."

With space heaters, Ostroskey said they should stay at least three feet away from curtains, bedding, and anything else that may be flammable. Officials said space heaters should be directly plugged into a wall socket, not an extension cord or power strip, and that they are meant for temporary use.

"Always turn a space heater off when you leave the room or go to sleep," Ostroskey said.

Read More: Frigid Temperatures Close COVID-19 Testing Sites Across Commonwealth

The dampener on fireplaces or woodstoves should be open before lighting a fire, with dry firewood being lit without the use of any flammable liquids, officials said.

The Mass. Department of Fire Services said furnaces, water heaters, or oil burners with a pilot light, should have a three-foot circle of space surrounding them so that nothing can catch fire in the vicinity. These heating systems should also be checked once a year, officials said.

Additionally, officials said that every resident should have a home escape plan, or have predetermined at least two ways to exit every room.

WBZ's Carl Stevens (@carlwbz) reports.

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