With record-breaking temperatures expected to fall below zero over the next several days, Consumers Energy spokesperson Debra Dodd says furnaces will likely be running non-stop.

Dodd says the most important message from Consumers Energy is their recommendation that all residents have carbon monoxide detectors in their home and check that their furnaces are operating efficiently. The odor-less, color-less, taste-less gas is produced when appliances aren’t functioning properly and can be fatal depending on the length and degree of exposure.

Space heaters should be kept away from anything flammable and Dodd says residents should never use a stove top, charcoal grill or oven to heat their homes. She also notes that generators should never be used inside and should be kept outdoors at least 25 feet from the home.

Dodd says travel will be slow-going the next few days and, with utility crew working in and near roadways, motorists are asked to use extra caution and slow down. She also encourages residents to watch out for one another, especially neighbors who are elderly, infirmed or otherwise might need assistance.

Anyone facing hardships with energy bills or other needs is asked to call 2-1-1 to get connected to resources in their community. Consumers Energy also has payment options and assistance programs for those in need. (DK)