As temperatures fall, many local residents will be turning on home heaters. Due to high energy costs, some might be using kerosene or electric space heaters.
While those options can be cost effective, they're not always safe. They can cause a fire. When that happens, the reason is usually improper installation and maintenance.
"The biggest items they need to look at is whether the space heater is serviceable. How old is it, what type of shape is it in if it's a gas burner does it have rust all in it," said David Turek, Bryan Fire Department.
Even if a space heater is in tip top shape, it can still cause a fire if used improperly. It should never be plugged into an extension cord and always remember, make sure nothing is within three feet of the heater.
"Make sure you have a safe distance between the heater. Do not drape towels and bathrobes over them or near them," said Turek.
House fires caused by space heaters aren't the only hazard to look out for this winter. Using unconventional methods for heat like stoves and ovens can also be dangerous, even if they don't start a fire.
"Usually carbon monoxide is the big problem there, you can actually go to sleep and never wake back up," said Turek.
Fire officials also warn that sleeping with space heaters on isn't the best idea.
"If you do leave heaters on at night it's a good idea to have smoke detector's and if you have smoke detector's there not any good unless you check them," said Turek.
Always make a plan in case of fire and make sure everyone knows at least two ways out of the house. Remember safety should be the first consideration when heating your home.
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