VDEM urging generator, heater safety as winter weather heads our way

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RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) – With more winter weather headed our way, the Virginia Department of Emergency Management is reporting an increase in house fires and carbon monoxide illnesses as more people are turning towards space heaters and generators to keep warm.

Related coverage: Virginia responds to worst ice storm in two decades: ‘It’s all hands on deck’

If your power goes out and you plan on using a generator, they should be placed in a ventilated spot outside at least 20 feet away from doors, windows or vents.

Officials urge you to never use a generator in an attached garage, and make sure they’re placed so exhaust fumes can’t enter your house.

It’s a good idea to make sure your carbon monoxide alarms in your home are working.

Those turning to a portable heater should keep it at least three feet away from anything flammable, and plug it in directly into the wall.

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