St. Tammany Fire Department to discuss safety hazards ahead of frigid temperatures


NEW ORLEANS — Precipitation, cold air, and even ice are expected to be in the area’s forecast starting Monday. St. Tammany Parish Assistant Chief Jason Gaubert says, during conditions like these, their department sees a spike in house fires from those trying to keep warm. His safety tips?

“It’s very important when you’re using a fireplace, that you only use dry, seasoned wood. Another big-ticket item– one of the biggest things with space heaters, is they need space,” Gaubert told WGNO. “So you want to keep at least three feet of clearance from any combustibles from around those space heaters. Those space heaters generate a whole lot of heat! If anything is too close, it can cause that to catch fire.”

Gaubert also advises against households using an oven to heat an area— especially a gas oven. This could potentially pump Carbon Monoxide into a home which is a deadly gas. 

“Carbon Monoxide poisoning, it can be mistaken for the Flu. Some of the symptoms are the same. Remember, Carbon Monoxide is colorless and odorless,” explained Gaubert. “So if you do have a leak or it’s in your home, you’re not gonna know it! The best thing everybody can do for the next two days is just to stay inside, stay warm, and most of all, be safe.”

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