hi-wood-stove-ap-pat-wellenbach-852

Some New Brunswickers are considering buying a wood stove in light of the ongoing widespread power outages. (Pat Wellenbach/Associated Press)

Some New Brunswickers have started planning head for future power outages after last week's ice storm left thousands of homes and businesses without heat or lights for days.

"We've had a lot of inquiries on wood stove and chimney installation — something that will work without electricity," said Sandy Jackson, a salesman at a Fredericton area stove store.

"There's been a lot of folks go without it in the past little while."

More than 2,000 NB Power customers were still waiting to get reconnected as of Tuesday afternoon. The utility has said it hopes to have most people back online by late Tuesday night.

Meanwhile, many people have relied on generators or alternate heat sources, such as portable kerosene heaters, which have been flying off store shelves.

Kerosene heaters hot commodity

The Canadian Tire store in Fredericton sold all 18 they had on Christmas Eve, in the middle of the power outages.

Manager Judy McCarty says one customer even called her at home before the store opened.

"I met him here at seven and he was in a panic because they had no heat. He bought kerosene heaters and kerosene and propane and propane heaters," she said.

"And that's when I realized, 'Oh my goodness,' because after that, they saw the doors open, customers were coming in and it just snowballed from there."

Kerosene also sold out, said McCarty.

Fredericton Fire Department prevention officer David McKinley says there are precautions people should take if they use kerosene.

"It's important to have it well ventilated. Always going to be a buildup of carbon monoxide when you have something burning inside a building," he said.

"So it's important to have a carbon monoxide detector, smoke detector and an extinguisher handy in case of problems."

Small backpacking stoves are also proving popular for emergencies.

In the past week, about 82,000 homes and businesses have been without electricity at some point, NB Power officials have said.

The bulk of the outstanding power outages are in Fredericton, Rothesay, St. Stephen, and Sussex.