SMUD’s Janice Forman says they’re particularly worried about recent immigrants.
She says burning an open, unventilated fire or charcoal indoors is an accepted practice in parts of South East Asia and Latin America.
“Sometimes heating ways in their countries in the past were acceptable. But in the United States with our better conditioned homes, our tighter homes, it isn’t safe. So in the last decade we have had families that have actually been killed due to improperly heating their homes.”
Burning wood or charcoal releases carbon monoxide, which cannot be seen or smelled and can kill people in minutes.
SMUD is distributing multi-language pamphlets on how customers can safely warm their homes. The utility also offers discounts for low-income residents.