As we first reported in an article earlier in the week, colder weather is on its way!

According to the National Weather Service, we could see sub-zero temps for several evenings in the days to come, with a hazardous weather outlook issued much of this weekend.

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nicoletaionescu
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For some, keeping warm is as simple as turning up their thermostat. But many Mainers are in situations where they cannot afford to heat their homes with oil. Instead, they have to rely on alternate heat sources to warm themselves and keep pipes from freezing. But that comes with a risk.

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Orono Fire Fighter, Dennis Bean, says he and his co-workers have seen some pretty dire conditions recently, as folks try to stay warm in this coldest part of winter.

"One of the worst things we see a lot is people using their kitchen stoves. They turn on the oven and leave the door open! Sad situations. We just entered a house the other day with 4 kerosene heaters and 3 full cans of fuel sitting in the middle of the living room!!! And people were living in there."

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Even something like a space heater should be used with some caution.

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In the past, the Maine Emergency Management Agency has issued some safety tips for using alternative methods of heat on its website.

"Electric space heaters should always be carefully checked before use, and monitored constantly while they are in use. Even if they came with safety features such as automatic turn-offs, monitor the heater yourself to make sure it is operating safely.."

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Ruslana Chub
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When burning with wood...

"Keep all persons, pets and flammable objects, including kindling, bedding, clothing, at least three feet away from fireplaces and wood stoves."

And for propane heaters...

"Use only crystal-clear k1 kerosene; there is no need to have more than five gallons on hand. Store it in a clearly marked metal container outside of your home in a garage or shed. Always ventilate the room by slightly opening a window when using a kerosene heater."

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Lacheev
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If you need help heating your home this winter, you may want to reach out to the Maine Housing Authority. They have an energy assistance program that might be able to help. You can click here for more info.

Stay safe out there.

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