By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

Rising natural gas prices rise another dangerous risk.

Natural gas prices have been rising faster than electricity prices in California, which may influence people to switch from one source of energy to another.

Inflation is hitting everyone’s pocketbook. It’s not just the pocketbook that is concerning, it’s the dangers associated with inflation that are often overlooked.


It’s been unusually cold. We are seeing an uptick of structure fires as people will are using fireplaces more, along with portable electric space heaters and electric blankets in combination with extension cords. Not to mention those that will use other sources to heat their homes: Ovens, propane, kerosene and even barbeques.

If you have a wood burning fireplace, make sure you get your chimney cleaned every year, and use a strong screen to keep sparks from catching onto anything that can start a fire.

Never use your stove to heat your home. It’s not an effective way to heat. That’s not what it’s designed for. Keeping your stove on for an extended period; keeping the oven open, allows just another opportunity for something to enter that space and ignite or a child to burn themselves.

Gas stoves can also increase the risk of carbon monoxide, which is a deadly and odorless gas. A working carbon monoxide and smoke detector is important to ensure there are no unsafe gases in our home.

To keep gas bill lower, practice the following options:

Dial down the thermostat to 68 degrees or lower

Wash clothes in cold water

Take shorter hot showers

Warm your home with natural sunlight during the day

Bundle up with warm blankets, socks, and sweaters

To help prevent home fires or accidents from occurring, there are some things we can do. All open heat sources and furnaces should be free of flammable materials within a five-foot or larger area.

Children should also be told to stay away from sources of heat as they are likely to touch them out of curiosity.

It’s also important to not leave things like portable space heaters and fireplaces unattended while active so that you can react if there is ever an issue.

Again, test smoke detectors every month to ensure that they work correctly.

Here are some good tips on what to do after a house fire from the American Red Cross

Contact your local fire department or Gas company service provider for additional safety information.