Safety: Exercise caution with generators, kerosene heaters

As the mornings bring frost on the ground and an extra layer of clothes on the way to work, we must take a warning from a tragedy in the Eastern Panhandle and remember to heat our homes safely.

Four people — two adults and two children — died in a home in Kearneysville over the weekend, where a gasoline-powered generator was being used to produce electricity for their single-family residence. Among those found dead in the home was 3-year-old girl.

“This tragic event serves as a reminder that generators should always be placed outside of the residence, and when using alternative forms of heating, such as kerosene heaters, you should make certain that your residence is properly ventilated,” the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office said. “Also ensure that you have carbon monoxide monitors and smoke detectors and that they are in working order.”

Considering the number of families in West Virginia that might still be recovering from flash flooding over the summer (or the summer before), there are likely many homes in which heat will be provided this winter in a manner that is not ideal when it comes to safety. In fact, some of those homes might be occupied by older friends and neighbors who could use a hand in getting taking all the proper precautions. Check in on them once in a while, folks.

Do not let a cozy evening at home turn into a tragedy.