Stay safe in the incoming ice and snow storm

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – With the ice storm, snow and a lot of raining hitting the region, local experts are warning of safety measures and how to protect your appliances.

It is important to be prepared in case the power goes out.

“Have plenty of flashlights, battery powered lanterns, battery powered radios to listen to what’s going on. Have plenty of blankets, food that you can eat without having to cook it, bottled water and things like that to drink. Keep your refrigerator and freezer closed while the electricity is out so that your food does not spoil,” said Bob Skipper, fire chief, Woodburn Fire Department,

Fire officials warn against the use of too many or unattended candles to heat or provide light. Anytime there is an open flame, you should keep a close eye on the fire.

If using a generator to keep appliances running, be sure you have it installed correctly or you can cause a fire, get carbon monoxide poisoning or cause other damage.

Generators should be set up outside, away from the home.

“If you have a gas fireplace that you can use safely, that’s great. Otherwise using a stove to try to heat your house or using candles or kerosene heaters, all of those can pose a real dangers, fire hazards, if they’re not done properly they can cause carbon monoxide,” said Skipper.

It is also recommended that you switch your thermostat to emergency heat mode. This will help protect your HVAC unit from damage from ice and snow.

“When the outdoor temperatures and conditions are terrible, snow, ice and things of that nature, what will happen is snow and ice will accumulate on top of the unit and the system can’t go into a defrost mode. So, ice will accumulate on the blades and it’s safest to turn that heat pump unit off and switch your thermostat to auxiliary heat,” said Dawn-Marie Escalera, office manager, Gra-Tac Heating and Cooling.

Be sure to turn that back off after the ice melts so you do not run up your energy bill.

Never start your car inside of your garage with the door down for heat. That will produce carbon monoxide which is life threatening.