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Heating Safety and White Chili

Stay safe and warm this winter season!

January 2015
Little River County, Ark. –

Are you staying warm on these below freezing nights? Do you use a space heater or fire in the fireplace? Home heating fires can be preventable when you know the rules. Statistics from the National Fire Protection Association find that one home structure fire was reported every 85 seconds. Carbon monoxide is called the silent killer because it is an invisible, odorless, colorless gas created when fuel (gasoline, wood, coal, natural gas, propane, oil or methane) burns incompletely. Vehicles or generators running in an enclosed garage can produce dangerous levels of carbon monoxide. Here are some guidelines for keeping our community safe during the winter.

  • Install smoke alarms in every bedroom and on each level of the home. Test the alarms at least once a month.
  • Remember space heaters need space. Keep all paper, bedding, furniture and all flammable objects at least 3 feet away from the heater.
  • Turn portable heaters off when going to bed or leaving the room.
  • Plug the power cord into the outlet and not an extension cord.
  • Inspect for loose connections and cracked plugs.
  • Have your chimney inspected each year and cleaned.
  • Make sure all fuel-burning equipment is vented to the outside. Check to make sure the vents are not covered by snow.
  • Make sure your generator is used in a well-ventilated area outdoors.
  • Allow ashes to cool before disposing.
  • Keep anything that can burn at least 3 feet from the fireplace.
  • Create a three-foot “kid-free zone” to keep children away from the fireplace, wood stove, or portable heater.
  • Install a carbon monoxide alarm outside each sleeping area and on each level of the house.

Stay warm and healthy through all of this cold weather this winter! Try this delicious recipe tonight.


Makes: 10 servings


2 cans great northern or navy beans (15 oz each)

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 red peppers, chopped

1 large onion, chopped

1 small can chopped green chili (can adjust to taste)

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon oregano

2 cups chicken broth (low sodium)

2 cups milk, low-fat

1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

3/4 pound chicken (cooked and cubed)


1. Sauté peppers and onion in olive oil.

2. Add green chili, garlic, spices and chicken broth. Simmer for 20 minutes.

3. Add milk, beans, and cooked chicken. Allow to thicken before adding cilantro. Heat through.

4. Top chili with crackers or crisp corn tortillas cut in strips if desired.

By Celeste Scarborough
County Extension Agent - FCS
The Cooperative Extension Service
U of A System Division of Agriculture

Media Contact: Celeste Scarborough
County Extension Agent - FCS
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
1411 N Constitution Ave Ashdown AR 71822
(870) 898-7224

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