Home Heating & Cold Weather Safety

I Have Inadequate Heat in my Rental

Complaints about inadequate heat in a rental property should first be made to the owner or manager of the property.  If the problem is not remedied in a reasonable length of time, a complaint can be filed:

 

Home Heating and Cold Weather Safety Tips

Winter proves to be challenging for many homeowners due to high fuel costs. The City of Madison Building Inspection Unit is offering some winter safety reminders.

  • Maintain your furnace for maximum efficiency. Call a qualified heating contractor for inspections of the furnace, water heater, vents and chimney.  Change the furnace filter at recommended intervals. 
  • If you have plastic furnace vents on the side of the house, keep them clear of snow and leaves.  
  • Do not use your gas or electric oven for space heating.
  • Un-vented appliances such as kerosene heaters are not legal for use in homes or apartments.
  • Put fresh batteries in carbon monoxide detectors, smoke detectors and thermostats annually.
  • Carbon monoxide is an odorless, invisible toxic gas.  Be alert for signs of carbon monoxide poisoning - headaches, nausea, stomach pain, dizziness or burning in the eyes and nose.  If you suspect carbon monoxide, open doors and windows immediately.  Then leave the area and contact a heating contractor to evaluate and repair the faulty appliance.  If someone is seriously ill or unconscious, call 911.
  • If you smell a persistent odor of natural gas:
    • Open windows.
    • Do not flip light switches or use the telephone.
    • Go to another location and call MGE at 252-1111 or Alliant at 1-800-862-6263
  • Do not use electric space heaters in bathrooms or other areas near water.
  • Do not overload outlets or extension cords used for electric space heaters.  Do not run extension cords under rugs or across walking areas
  • Inspect electric blankets for good condition and follow manufacturer's instructions
  • When working on the exterior of the house, keep ladders away from overhead electric lines.
  • Do not store or use flammable liquids near appliances with open flames such as water heaters, furnaces and stoves.
  • Do not obstruct heat ducts, cool air returns or any heat source.  State law and local ordinance require that heating systems be capable of maintaining inside temperature at a minimum of 67°F. 
  • Burn wood safely.  If installing a new wood burning or solid fuel appliance, obtain a heating permit and have the installation inspected.  Dispose of ash safely outside
  • Clean and inspect your chimney flue regularly if you have an appliance that uses a solid fuel such as wood
     

The following social service agencies provide services for a variety of individuals in Madison and Dane County:

 

Agency Phone Fax
Independent Living (608)274-7900 (608)274-9181
South Madison Coalition for the Elderly (608)251-8405 (608)251-9082
Westside Coalition for the Aging (608)238-7368 (608)238-1260
Near East Side Coalition of Older Adults (608)243-5252 (608)243-5259
East Madison/Monona Coalition of Aging (608)223-3100 (608)223-3102
Dane County Social Services (608)242-6400 n/a
City  of Madison Health Department (608)266-4821 (608)266-4858
Independent Health Care (608)274-2097 n/a
Elder Care of Dane County (608)278-2471 n/a
First Call for Help (608)246-4357 n/a
We Care (608)271-5455 n/a
Independent Living Chores (608)274-7900 n/a
Dane County Social Services - Elder Abuse (608)224-3664 n/a

 

Last Updated: 03/27/2012

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