Winterizing your home: Ways to make sure you’re prepared | Lehigh Valley Regional News

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

It’s also looking like frigid conditions are here to stay for the holiday. So it’s important to make sure you’re prepared for all possibilities when it comes to keeping warm.

If you use an electric heater, there are some definite do’s and don’ts.

“Make sure you have no combustibles within 3 feet,” said John Christopher, captain of Public Affairs with the Allentown Fire Department. “If you put that heater out a month ago and now you put a tree up, now it’s a foot away from the tree.”

Christopher also says not to substitute other household appliances as heaters.

And when you plug that heater in, avoid extension cords.

“You want them directly into the wall. Never use an extension cord for a heater,” he said. “Check that the cords are not damaged, or not frayed and not cracking.”

Now what happens when the weather gets so bad the power goes out?

“There are things customers can do right now in the event that they have an outage,” said Jane George, regional affairs director for PPL.

George says a great place to start is stocking an emergency kit, filled with food, water, medicine, a flashlight and even items that your pets may need.

“Make sure you have your phone and electronics ready in case you do lose power,” George said.

If you do experience a power outage and have to turn to a generator, make sure you’re using it safely.

‘There’s only one place for generators to be used, and that’s outside.’

“There’s only one place for generators to be used, and that’s outside,” said Guillermo Rodriguez, public information officer at Portable Generator Manufacturers’ Association.

“We are dealing with carbon monoxide emissions,” he cautioned.

Once the generator is outside, keep it away from windows, doors and vents to avoid any health risks.

Finally, always make sure your carbon monoxide alarms are up to date.

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