Families, Seniors Urged to Keep Safe & Warm This Winter
Families and seniors are urged to think about safety as they heat their homes this winter. Many of the injuries and accidents associated with home heating are preventable if residents follow simple precautions.
With heating ranked as the second highest cause of fires in Massachusetts, the Greater Lawrence Community Action Council Inc. has teamed up with the Lawrence Fire Department to provide families and seniors tips for staying safe while keeping warm, including:
- Never use a space heater as the No. 1 heating source
- Keep anything that can burn at least three feet from a space heater or wood stove
- Portable kerosene heaters are illegal for home use in Massachusetts
- Dispose of wood stove ashes in a metal container away from the house, porch and garage
- Don’t use a gas stove or oven for heat
- Install carbon monoxide alarms and smoke detectors on every level of the home and change the batteries twice a year
- Keep appliance vents and exhaust pipes clear of drifting snow and bushes.
These tips and more are available at www.glcac.org or by visiting a GLCAC office.
“No one should have to put themselves and their family at risk to heat their home this winter. We want all families to be safe and warm, and if you are having trouble with it, please call us for assistance,” said Evelyn Friedman, Executive Director of the GLCAC Inc., a non-profit social service agency serving the Greater Lawrence community.
“We urge families and seniors not to take risks with their safety as they try to heat their homes this winter. Fire and carbon monoxide poisoning are two serious and entirely preventable threats during the winter months,” said Lawrence Fire Chief Jack Bergeron.
For the month of October, GLCAC Inc. has been sharing tips for lowering home heating bills as well as information on its programs to save energy and receive financial assistance. The GLCAC Inc.’s Energy Division offers qualifying families and senior citizens assistance both in weatherizing their homes and in helping to pay a portion of their heating bills.
The Weatherization Assistance Program assists low-income households in improving the efficiency of their homes. The program is available based on federal income guidelines. For more information, call (978) 681-4956.
The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, also known as LIHEAP, provides eligible households with help in paying a portion of their winter heating bills. The program provides a fixed benefit based on household income and federal guidelines. First-time applicants should call GLCAC at (978) 681-4950 to make an appointment to apply in person.
In addition, low-income households experiencing problems with their heating systems may be eligible for assistance from the Heating Emergency Assistance Retrofit Task Weatherization Assistance Program. The HEARTWAP Program contracts with heating companies to provide services necessary to keep heating systems operating efficiently and safely. For more information, call (978) 681-4955.