For Immediate Release: November 23, 2020

Winter tips for safe home heating

As the temperature drops most families will start using furnaces and heaters that haven’t been used in months. To make sure you’re heating your home safely, review our simple tips to stay warm this season.

  • Test your smoke detectors regularly, and make sure you have at least one carbon monoxide detector in your home.
  • Never use propane heaters, hibachis, barbecues—or any heater with an open

    flame—indoors. They produce carbon monoxide, a clear, odorless gas that can be fatal to humans and animals.

  • When using electric space heaters, make sure they are completely unobstructed on all sides, and turn them off when leaving the room.
  • 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:
    • 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 leave a fire unattended.
    • 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.

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. Customers needing help with their bills can also apply for our EnergyHelp program.  SMUD is not shutting off power, nor charging late fees during this time. For more information on our assistance programs, visit

Additional information on safe home heating and SMUD’s EAPR program are available at or by calling 888-742-7683.