JACKSON, Mich., Dec. 17, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- With heating equipment a leading cause of fires in December, January and February, Consumers Energy is sharing important safety tips to help Michigan residents stay safe and warm.
"It is our privilege to provide natural gas and electric service to our family, friends and neighbors around the state, but we are also committed to sharing information to help them stay safe during the winter months," said LeeRoy Wells, Jr, vice president of operations support for Consumers Energy.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, heating equipment is a leading cause of home fire deaths. Half of home heating equipment fires are reported during the months of December, January and February. To help prevent a tragedy, follow these simple safety tips:
- Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from heating equipment, like a furnace, fireplaces, wood stove or portable space heater.
- Never use your oven to heat your home.
- Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected annually by a qualified professional.
- Turn off portable heaters when leaving the room or going to bed.
- Never operate portable generators inside a home, garage or near windows. They should be operated outside and at least 25 feet away from a home/building.
- Install an Underwriters Laboratory (UL) listed carbon monoxide alarm that will activate if this deadly, invisible gas is produced. Most carbon monoxide problems occur in the winter when doors and windows are closed and furnaces are operating.
There are also simple outside tips to stay safe and warm. Keeping natural gas and electric meters and gas furnace intake pipes free of ice and snow is important for safe operation. If snow builds up, it can become compacted and freeze around the meter, causing damage that can interfere with its proper operation and appliances served by that meter.
- Remove snow by hand, never with shovel, other tools or power snow equipment.
- Residents with high-efficiency furnaces should clear the intake pipes (typically two white plastic pipes coming out the side of the home) from piled or drifting snow to prevent possible obstructions that could interfere with safe operation.
- Those living in manufactured/mobile homes should safely clear away snow from rooftop chimneys, fresh air intakes and furnace exhaust pipes.
Consumers Energy, Michigan's largest energy provider, is the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy (NYSE: CMS), providing natural gas and/or electricity to 6.7 million of the state's 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.
Learn more about cold weather safety and available assistance programs: www.ConsumersEnergy.com/coldweather
For more information about Consumers Energy, go to www.ConsumersEnergy.com.
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SOURCE Consumers Energy