For Immediate Release: November 13, 2017

When temperatures drop, heat your home safely

As the weather turns colder in Sacramento, most families will start using furnaces and heaters that haven’t been used in many months. It’s a good time to review a few simple tips to make sure you’re heating your home safely:

  • Never burn charcoal, wood or any other kind of fuel in an unventilated fire indoors. Burning wood or charcoal releases significant amounts of carbon monoxide, which cannot be seen or smelled but can kill in minutes.
  • Never use an appliance like a kerosene heater, propane gas grill or heater, stove, oven or dryer to heat your home.
  • When using a properly ventilated fireplace:
    • Never leave a fire unattended.
    • Get your chimney inspected and/or cleaned annually by a professional.
    • Use a glass or metal screen in front of your fireplace to protect against sparks, and make sure your damper is open before lighting.
    • Never use lighter fluid or any other type of accelerant to start your fire.
  • Always keep children and pets away from heat sources.
  • Keep flammable materials such as clothing and blankets away from heat sources.
  • Test your smoke detectors regularly and make sure you have at least one carbon monoxide detector in your home.
  • When using electric space heaters, make sure they are completely unobstructed on all sides and turn them off when leaving the room.


Cold weather can make it tough for some families to stay warm, so SMUD offers programs to help low-income customers save on their electric bills. Eligible customers can take advantage of SMUD’s Energy Assistance Program Rate (EAPR), a discount rate that can save customers money on a portion of their bill. EAPR customers may also be eligible for our residential weatherization program. Qualified customers can, at no cost to them, have their homes and apartments weatherized to improve energy efficiency and keep down energy costs.

Safe home heating brochures in multiple languages are available by calling 888-742-7683. Information about safe home heating and SMUD’s EAPR program are available at or by calling the number above.