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Liberty Utilities of Massachusetts offers tips to stay safe and warm during winter months



Fall River, MA, December 19, 2022 – Winter weather is here, and that means fireplaces are lit, heaters are running, and warm meals are cooking. To help ensure community members enjoy a safe winter season, Liberty has some important reminders for around the home.

“At Liberty, we take our responsibility to help ensure the safety of our employees, our customers, and our community members very seriously – it’s one of the most important things we do,” said Tatiana Roc, President of Liberty Massachusetts. “This time of year, we often hear of residents taking measures to stay warm and keep costs low. We want to remind people what they should and shouldn’t do.”

Below are some tips to stay safe during the winter months:

-Between meals, make sure all kitchen equipment – mainly your stove and oven – is turned off. Kitchen equipment should never be used for heating.

-Avoid using portable fuel gas heaters, such as propane or kerosene, indoors. Additionally, electric heaters should have a UL Tag on the unit or cord.

-Keep anything that can catch on fire away from cooking equipment – like oven mitts, paper or plastic bags, towels, etc. – and avoid loose clothing while cooking.

-Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors throughout your home, especially in the kitchen and near bedrooms, and set a reminder at least twice each year to test and/or replace the batteries.

-Always use a safety screen in the fireplace and make sure holiday decorations are fire-resistant and at least three feet away from an open fire.

-Each year, have a licensed heating contractor inspect your chimneys and flue pipes for safe operation.

-Ensure wood or pellet stoves are installed and vented properly, inspected regularly, and only burn natural wood (avoid burning pressure-treated or painted wood or construction debris).

-Practice care if using candles. Make sure to extinguish them when not in use, place them on a non-flammable surface, keep them away from any other objects and out of reach of children and pets. Or consider flameless alternatives.

-Keep a fire extinguisher rated for home use mounted near the exit doors, not near a hazard such as a stove. Make sure it has not expired and everyone in the household knows how to use it.

-Layer up! In the extreme cold, it’s best to dress in layers with a wind-resistant outer layer.

-Have an emergency kit ready for inclement weather. Non-perishable food items, a manual can opener, hand sanitizer, baby wipes, flashlights, a wind-up or battery-powered radio, batteries, unscented candles, matches, duct tape, a first aid kit, and sleeping bags are all good items to include.

-Keep gas meters clear of ice and snow, using a broom or brush. Do not use a shovel or any other sharp object, and never pour hot water on natural gas equipment to melt ice.

-If you smell rotten eggs, leave and call Liberty at 1-800-936-7000 or 911.

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