BATON ROUGE, La. (WGNO) — As Southeast Louisiana faces a blast of frigid air, the State Fire Marshal’s Office (SFM) is pleading with Louisianans to prioritize safe home heating practices.

State Fire Marshal Chief H.“Butch” Browning said many lives have been lost due to fires.

“So far this year, we have lost ten lives, including two children, to home fires,” said Chief H.“Butch” Browning.

He added, “Several of these cases are either confirmed or suspected to have been caused by home heating-related hazards that are absolutely preventable. Now is the time to take action to prevent the same dangers in your home.”

Here are some safe heating tips SFM has provided residents:

  • Place space heaters 3-5 feet from combustible objects like blankets and curtains
  • Plug all heating appliances directly into wall outlets, not power strips or extension cords
  • Do not use stoves or ovens to heat homes
  • Don’t overfill fireplaces/wood-burning stoves
  • Do not leave candles/open flames (or space heaters) left unattended
  • Have working smoke alarms in your home!

State Fire Marshals also remind residents to have working smoke alarms set up in their homes.

The Office of Louisiana’s State Fire Marshal has resources available.

Their Operation Save-A-Life program partners with local fire departments and districts to install smoke alarms for FREE, at any time of the year, for families in need of assistance accessing the critical emergency-alert equipment.

Residents can register to have an alarm installed on their website, or by contacting the local fire
department.

In addition, carbon monoxide, or CO, can also be a hazard when it comes to heating your homes, especially if the power goes out.

Carbon monoxide often referred to as “the invisible killer,” is an odorless, colorless gas created when fuels like gasoline, wood, coal, natural gas, propane, oil, and methane are actively burning