Heating your home safely during frigid temperatures

Published: Jan. 20, 2019 at 10:59 PM EST
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It's no secret the temperatures felt across East Tennessee have been frigid. Rural Metro Fire said these temperatures are considered to be "dangerously" cold.

Folks in the area said they are doing their best to stay warm.

"It just hit us so quick. Wouldn't have time to prepare for it," said David Perkins, as he purchased propane.

The low temperatures in East Tennessee are leading to high numbers of East Tennesseans, like Perkins, trying to heat their homes.

"Bought us some propane and going to light it up tonight and try to stay warm," Perkins said.

Kim Jeffries works at Elder's Ace Hardware in North Knoxville. She said by 4:00 Sunday afternoon, they sold about 400 gallons of propane. She said they sold so much, they ran out and the supply truck had to return for a refill.

"It's not an everyday thing. It's just when they're predicting cold snaps and storms," Jeffries said.

When the weather cools down, space heaters seem like an easy way to warm up. Rural Metro Fire's Jeff Bagwell said it's important to consider safety when using space heaters or other similar units.

"When you buy a space heater, it needs to have an automatic shutoff if it's kicked over, and the second thing that those heaters need to have is the thermostat so you can set it on 65 degrees and it will warm to 65 degrees and turn off," Bagwell said.

Bagwell said the fire department also runs a lot of chimney related fire calls when the temperatures drop this much.

"Chimney fires are a common thing. We had one last night. If you haven't cleaned your chimney yet and you're using it this time of year and you haven't cleaned it in a while, you're probably too late, and you probably need to stop and have somebody come look at it and clean it," Bagwell said.

For Jeffries, the cold weather also means good business.

"Since they're not calling for a lot snow today, they're just going for the warmth with the propane and the heaters," Jeffries said.

"Hopefully we'll stay warm now," Perkins said.

Rural Metro Fire said if you can, stay inside when it's this cold outside. If you have to go outside, remember to layer your clothing.