For Immediate Release: October 30, 2012

Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin Wants Families to Stay Warm, Stay Safe

Cooler weather introduces increased risk of home heating fires and toxic gas poisoning

RALEIGH -- With a winter storm warning in effect in western North Carolina, Insurance Commissioner and State Fire Marshal Wayne Goodwin is urging people to defend themselves against home heating fires and carbon monoxide poisoning.

"As the temperatures drop and we face the potential for power outages, families must remember to make safety the top priority when heating their homes," said Insurance Commissioner and State Fire Marshal Wayne Goodwin. "With increased use of heating equipment comes an increase in the risks of home fires and carbon monoxide poisoning."

According to the National Fire Protection Association, use of heating equipment is one of the leading causes of home fire deaths. Heating equipment is involved in roughly one in five home fires and fire deaths.

Carbon monoxide is a deadly gas that is invisible, odorless and colorless. It is created when fuels (such as gasoline, wood, coal, natural gas, propane, oil, and methane) burn incompletely. In the home, heating and cooking equipment that burn fuel are potential sources of carbon monoxide. Vehicles or generators running in an attached garage can also produce dangerous levels of carbon monoxide.

Families should heed the following safety reminders to help prevent home heating fires and carbon monoxide poisoning:

For more safety tips that will keep you safe and warm in the cool weather months, go to