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Staying safe while staying warm as temperatures drop

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Posted at 7:24 PM, Feb 21, 2023

With the temperatures beginning to drop this week, officials want to remind people to stay safe while heating their homes.

"During these colder periods of weather, we do see an uptick in calls related to heating equipment," said San Luis Obispo Emergency Manager James Blattler. "That could be chimneys, portable heating devices. That's why we really recommend that, if you're going to use those devices, that make sure that it's inspected and cleaned annually."

With cold weather drawing near, the public is being warned to prepare accordingly.

"We tell everyone, this is the time when you're going to be calling us and you're going to expect us to come out right now," said Smart 72 Director of Field Sales Jay Deathrage.

People are encouraged to get their appliances checked and in line with heating companies' directions.

"Have us come out, inspect your equipment, and have it ready to go," said Deathrage.

Take preventative measures to prevent fire hazards, officials say, by turning off unnecessary heaters, avoiding electrical hazards, and checking to make sure all appliances are ready to go.

"If you're one of those areas that suffered flood damage, get those sandbags," said Blattler. "That way, they're ready to be deployed when they're needed. If you're using a portable space heater, make sure that it's away at least three feet away from anything that can catch on fire. At night, don't leave that space heater on. Turn it off. If you're using electrical equipment that's plugged into a daisy chain of extension cords, that's a big no-no. That can easily cause an electrical fire."

Taking the proper steps to avoid heating problems and keeping people in your home safe is the ultimate objective.

"People call because they kick theirs on," said Deathrage. "We want to do the preventive maintenance."

"The city and fire department are all ready for this storm and we have the ability to upstaff if needed, so we'll be monitoring things," said Blattler. "But we're ready. We're trained and we're ready to serve the community."

One of the key recommendations is to keep the temperature at roughly 72 degrees within the household and keeping it consistent so nothing aggravates the system.