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Power Outage Warning From Fire Marshal With Upcoming Snow And Weather Event

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ANNAPOLIS, Maryland -- Maryland is expected to receive its first significant winter weather event in almost two years. While meteorologists aren't sure exactly how much snow will fall, the  Maryland State Fire Marshal is warning residents to be prepared for electrical outages.

State Fire Marshal Brian S. Geraci said that that following some simple tips can prevent death or serious injury.

Use flashlights during power outages instead of candles. Keep plenty of fresh batteries on hand at all times. If you prefer the look of candles, consider a flameless battery operated candles that offer the flickering light without the potential fire hazard.

Check portable electric heaters for frayed/damaged wires and ensure they are clean and placed on a flat level surface. Use only "listed" by an approved testing laboratory equipment and follow the manufacturer's instructions.

Do not use extension cords with portable space heaters. The extension cord can overheat and cause a fire.

If you are using an electric stove when a power failure occurs, please remember to turn off the burner to eliminate the potential of an unattended fire.

If you use kerosene fuel-fired heaters, use only "K-1" kerosene fuel. Never fill the unit inside. Remove it to the exterior after it has cooled before refueling. Open a window enough to provide proper ventilation while in use. 

Keep combustibles (furniture, curtains, clothing, paper goods) at least three feet from all heat sources.                                                  

Fuel-burning appliances can produce a deadly, tasteless, and odorless gas known as carbon monoxide. Install and maintain CO alarms inside your home to provide an early warning of carbon monoxide/.

Always turn off portable heating equipment when leaving the room for extended periods. Portable heaters should never be operated unattended.

Operate generators outside of the home and outside of garages. Use extreme caution when refueling.

Make sure your home is equipped with working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. 

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