SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — As the temperature continues to drop seniors living at the Rose of Sharon apartments told WSAV that they are without heat and hot water.
WSAV first reported this story on Tuesday. One person said she was advised to seek out alternative heating methods like using her oven.
However, Savannah Fire officials said some of those alternatives are dangerous and even deadly.
Some residents told WSAV they were told by management to use space heaters or their ovens to heat their apartments. However, they said they have safety concerns about doing that.
WSAV spoke with a Savannah fire marshal about alternative ways to stay warm if you are without central heat.
When using a space heater it’s very important to make sure they are used safely to avoid fires.
“You wanna make sure that you’re purchasing a space heater with a proper UL listing on it,” Whitney Williams-Smith said. ”So, you want to always make sure it has that label on there.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, space heaters are a leading cause of fires and make up the majority of injuries and deaths caused by heating equipment fires.
More than half of these deaths were a result of flammable items like bedding and upholstered furniture being too close. You should maintain at least three feet between the heater and flammable items and always turn the heaters off before leaving the room or going to bed.
If you’re planning to use an oven to heat your home, the best advice is don’t do it.
“You don’t want to use your stove or anything like that to heat your home because sometimes we can fall asleep and leave those things on sometimes we have things inside of those and are forgetful about it,” Williams-Smith said. “They could cause burns, they could cause fires.”
“Some people have gas stoves, some people have electric stoves, so just depending on what you have it can cause a different type of hazard within your home,” Williams-Smith continued. “You have carbon monoxide poisoning and you fall asleep that stove turns off and you could suffer from carbon monoxide poisoning as well, so that’s dangerous.”
Mercy Housing sent a statement to WSAV which said a new pump is on the way to restore hot water for residents. The part was not available locally and they also told WSAV that the heating issues were resolved on Saturday, but some residents still said on Wednesday that they still didn’t have heat.
WSAV will continue to follow this story.