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Old 30 January 2007, 04:07 PM
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zman977 zman977 is offline
 
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Default Keep your heat below 69 degrees and you'll get in trouble with DCFS

My wife heard this one yesterday at work. She was told that if you keep your house cooler than sixty nine degrees if you have kids you can get in trouble with the Department of Children & Family Services. (DCFS) I understatnd one should keep there. I've never heard this one and doing a google search turned up nothing. Just wondered if anyone else had heard this one.
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  #2  
Old 30 January 2007, 04:22 PM
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I can't imagine there would be an arbitrary number that is considered worthy of an investigation - I imagine it would only come up in the course of an investigation of some other issue, or if DCFS received a call from someone complaining about the cold. I imagine that it would be at the discretion of the social worker to determine whether the environment, including temperature, was healthy, depending on the home, the heater, number of occupants, health of occupants, etc. People's tolerance of cold and heat is so varied that I can't imagine a law with an arbitrary temperature setting could ever be passed.

But I don't know for sure. I'm going to call up a social worker buddy and ask her. I'll post if I get new info.
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  #3  
Old 30 January 2007, 04:30 PM
Ryda Wong, EBfCo. Ryda Wong, EBfCo. is offline
 
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I do know that during real cold snaps (well below zero), the public service company says not to let the heat go below 68, due to possible pipe damage. I'd like to tell them they may feel free to pay my heating bill if that's the case, but I like having running water. Sigh. Lots of tuna until the winter ends.

However, I used to keep the heat at 55 during the day and 50 at night, and the dog and I survived. I'd think if a kid were properly dressed, they'd be fine at temps 60 and above.
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  #4  
Old 30 January 2007, 04:34 PM
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I haven't heard of a hard-and-fast rule about this, but I do know that children are more susceptible than non-elderly adults to hypothermia.

I have seen advice to the elderly to keep the thermostat at least at 68 degrees Fahrenheit. If a DCFS investigation indicated that children are in a home where the thermostat is set lower than this, they would probably have to act if the parents refused to correct the situation.

ETA: It probably also depends on the ages of the children. Here's a link from the CDC.

Last edited by wanderwoman; 30 January 2007 at 04:40 PM. Reason: to add link
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  #5  
Old 30 January 2007, 04:36 PM
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I also remember during the energy crisis in the 1970's, Carter decreed and ordered Americans to keep their thermostats set at no higher than 65 degrees. I was a little kid then and I survived. We didn't have central heat, either.
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  #6  
Old 30 January 2007, 04:44 PM
Gayle Gayle is offline
 
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Default I'm a wuss

I think some of you might die of heat stroke in my apartment. I keep it around 75. I don't believe in being uncomfortable.
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  #7  
Old 30 January 2007, 05:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryda Wong, EBfCo. View Post
I do know that during real cold snaps (well below zero), the public service company says not to let the heat go below 68, due to possible pipe damage.
Really? How cold? It's not unusual for us to have subzero temps here, and I've never heard that. I keep my house below 68 while we're gone during the day and while we're sleeping at night.

Quote:
However, I used to keep the heat at 55 during the day and 50 at night, and the dog and I survived. I'd think if a kid were properly dressed, they'd be fine at temps 60 and above.
I think mine goes down to 62 or so during the day, and the cats and dog seem to be fine. They have fur, and I figure if they're really cold, they can get over their personal differences and snuggle up together.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gayle View Post
I think some of you might die of heat stroke in my apartment. I keep it around 75. I don't believe in being uncomfortable.
Me neither, so I should stay out of your apartment.
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  #8  
Old 30 January 2007, 05:02 PM
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Seaboe Muffinchucker Seaboe Muffinchucker is offline
 
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Glasses

May I be obvious, for a moment?

Even if there were such a nonsensical rule, how are they going to know your thermostat setting?

Seaboe
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  #9  
Old 30 January 2007, 05:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seaboe Muffinchucker View Post
May I be obvious, for a moment?

Even if there were such a nonsensical rule, how are they going to know your thermostat setting?

Seaboe

Good question. I doubt they are going to come in and look at your thermostat. Our heat is set at 35-37 and when our nieces are visiting they seem just comfortable. In fact my four year old niece complains she's too hot. I'd like to know where my wifes Co worker heard this. I'm guessing from friend of a friend and we know how reliable they are.
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  #10  
Old 30 January 2007, 05:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seaboe Muffinchucker View Post
May I be obvious, for a moment?

Even if there were such a nonsensical rule, how are they going to know your thermostat setting?

Seaboe
It's probably one of the things that gets investigated if a report is made. I know that CPS investigates when a family with children is reported to have lost their heat in cold weather. Though in my experience they help the family get the heat turned back on, and the parents are only in trouble if they refuse to cooperate in keeping the children safe.

And as far as the OP, it likely only applies if there is an infant in the house, and only if the infant's room is not being kept warm enough.
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  #11  
Old 30 January 2007, 05:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zman977 View Post
Our heat is set at 35-37 and when our nieces are visiting they seem just comfortable.
Is that a typo, or does your thermostat measure degees Celsius?
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  #12  
Old 30 January 2007, 05:19 PM
Ryda Wong, EBfCo. Ryda Wong, EBfCo. is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lainie View Post
Really? How cold? It's not unusual for us to have subzero temps here, and I've never heard that. I keep my house below 68 while we're gone during the day and while we're sleeping at night.

Usually an extended sub-zero - teens snap. It could be because of construction differences in Denver (lack of insulated pipes, really old construction, etc.)

I know they told us that in Jax., Fla., when we went into the teens during winter, due to the fact that NO houses had any inuslation of which to speak there.




Quote:
Originally Posted by Lainie View Post
and the cats and dog seem to be fine. They have fur, and I figure if they're really cold, they can get over their personal differences and snuggle up together.


Jake and the kitties have access to the bed, which has a down comfortor and is never "made". And boy howdy, do they take advantage of that. Lazy pets.
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  #13  
Old 30 January 2007, 05:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lainie View Post
Is that a typo, or does your thermostat measure degees Celsius?
That's still a temperature for a home. That's approaching sauna levels.

I speak of experience -- an old apartment of mine had a thermostat that didn't quite know when to turn off. A few times, I got in to find the temperature at 34 C (94 F)!
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  #14  
Old 30 January 2007, 05:21 PM
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Ok.. I'm confused...which isn't unusual for me..

If I keep my thermostat at 67*--doesn't that mean if my house goes colder than that, the heat kicks on? So, temp inside registers 66*, heat kicks on until it warms it back up to 67*, right?

It works the same with a/c--we keep it set at 79*--temp inside is 80*, so a/c kicks on until it cools it to 79*, right?

If this is the case, I could understand why someone might complain, 67 isn't warm enough when it is 50* outside.

Of course, I say this, sitting here in Florida, where the temp has only just reached 60* and I'm freezing...no windows open, no heat on, but I do have my slippers, socks, long sleeve shirt, and thick sweatshirt on and I'm still cold. Which is unusual because I **like** it cold.

As for DCFS--that might be a rule for foster parents or foster to adopt parents. I know just by researching this recently, that foster/foster to adopt parents have much more stringent rules than the normal person. So I could see DCFS stepping during this time.

But for normal parents, with their own kids, nah... DCFS won't care about that.

Personally, I am more comfortable turning the heat off and bundling up--it's easier to remove clothes as I get hotter and put more on as I get colder than it is to play juggling with my heat/electric bill.

~~EB
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  #15  
Old 30 January 2007, 05:37 PM
Doug4.7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seaboe Muffinchucker View Post
Even if there were such a nonsensical rule, how are they going to know your thermostat setting?
Didn't you get the memo? All thermostats made after 1965 have a radio transmitter that broadcasts the setting to the power company (over the power lines). That way they can anticipate the energy demand......
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  #16  
Old 30 January 2007, 05:55 PM
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zman977 zman977 is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lainie View Post
Is that a typo, or does your thermostat measure degees Celsius?

Yes, a typo should have been 65-67.
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  #17  
Old 30 January 2007, 06:08 PM
woodland elf
 
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That is just insane, I have a 13 year old and a 3 year old. DCFS should have taken them years ago. During the day when we are home we keep the house about 68 or so, but at night I turn it way down, maybe to 58. First of all it stays warmer upstairs so it is probably a bit warmer but we all sleep well and nobody has froze to death, yet.

When my 3 year old had croup the doc actually told me to not let it get more that 65 in the house. If he was having an "episode" (cough tell he turns blue) to bundle him up and take him outside for 15 minutes. It was nearly freezing at that point in time. Maybe I should turn my Ped into DCFS.

I honestly think it is worse to have it way too hot in the summer than cold in the winter. I mean seriously, you can always put on more clothes, there is only so much you can take off.
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  #18  
Old 30 January 2007, 06:48 PM
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zman977 zman977 is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodland elf View Post
Tut at night I turn it way down, maybe to 58. )


Keeping it that cool at night could lead to more children. You know, cooler temperatures, more snuggling under the covers to keep warm .

Seriously though. My MIL & FIL. keep the heat about sixty during the day and about fifty five at night.
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  #19  
Old 30 January 2007, 07:11 PM
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Seaboe Muffinchucker Seaboe Muffinchucker is offline
 
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Glasses

Quote:
Originally Posted by zman977 View Post
Seriously though. My MIL & FIL. keep the heat about sixty during the day and about fifty five at night.
Long term, this is dangerous. Seriously. It can and does lead to hypothermia, which can be fatal.

From FAQs.org:
Quote:
Hypothermia also occurs in more moderate climates during cold weather. The problem is more likely to occur among elderly and homeless people. Elderly people may not remember to keep their homes heated properly. Or they may be too poor to pay their heating bills. Their homes may remain at a constant temperature of 50 to 65F (10 to 17C). A continuous exposure to this temperature can cause hypothermia.
From a report on Cold Stress:
Quote:
Many older adults can develop a low body temperature after exposure to conditions of mild cold, which would only produce discomfort in younger people.
Seaboe
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  #20  
Old 30 January 2007, 07:48 PM
Doug4.7
 
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Glasses

Quote:
Originally Posted by woodland elf View Post
That is just insane, I have a 13 year old and a 3 year old. DCFS should have taken them years ago. During the day when we are home we keep the house about 68 or so, but at night I turn it way down, maybe to 58. First of all it stays warmer upstairs so it is probably a bit warmer but we all sleep well and nobody has froze to death, yet.
We keep our house at 65 at night. However, each of my kids turn OFF their vent so their rooms are much colder. They prefer to be under the covers.
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