Home Heating & Cold Weather Safety
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:
- Report a Problem: Interior Property Problems
- Call: (608) 266-4551, Building Inspection
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:
|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|
|Independent Living Chores||(608)274-7900||n/a|
|Dane County Social Services - Elder Abuse||(608)224-3664||n/a|