CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD)- Winter weather is expected in the Lowcountry this weekend and several areas may drop below freezing temperatures.

Here are 5 things you should know about heating your home:

1. Alternative heaters need their space

Take the term ‘space heater’ literally and make sure to keep any item that may catch fire at least three feet away from the unit. Also, check that your heater has a “tip switch,” which is designed to automatically turn off the heater if it falls over.

2. Do not use the kitchen stove to heat your home

Desperate times sometimes call for desperate measures, but you should NOT use the stove as a way to heat your home. In addition to being a fire hazard, it can also be a source of toxic fumes.

3. Keep generators outside

A generator or any other fuel-powered machine should only be used outside the home. Generators release carbon monoxide, an odorless, highly toxic gas that can quickly overwhelm you indoors. Also, never connect a generator to another source such as power lines. The reverse flow of electricity could electrocute an unsuspecting utility worker.

4. Check the fireplace

Building a wood-burning fire in your home is a great option to keep warm and cozy, but there are a few things you should keep in mind. Use a glass or metal screen in front of your fireplace to prevent sparks from igniting nearby carpets, furniture, or other items that can catch fire. Once the fire has burned out, make sure you let the ashes cool all the way before putting them into a container. You should not put ashes in a plastic container, so opt for a covered, metal one instead.

5. Know your power company’s number

Some areas may experience power outages and if you do, you should report it right away.

Here are the numbers for power companies in our area:

  • Dominion Energy: (888) 333-4465
  • Berkeley Electric Co-op: (888) 253-4232
  • Edisto Electric Co-op: (800) 433-3292
  • Santee Cooper: (888) 769-7688