Turning on Heat Might Lead to Fires - Houston weather, traffic, news | FOX 26 | MyFoxHouston

Turning on Heat Might Lead to Fires

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HOUSTON (FOX 26) -

It might be a perfect time for many people to turn their heating appliances on, but firefighters say it could be deadly.

Maintaining your heating appliances is key according to the Houston Fire Department.

There's a lesson to be learned from a fire just this morning. Flames broke out at the home on Vanderpool in west Houston early Tuesday morning.

No one was hurt, but it's something Houston firefighters say they see too often.

"You need to maintain your heating appliances to include your chimney. Especially from a chimney standpoint, when the fire gets out of the area of the chimney because there is a crack or opening, it gets into those walls, it can rapidly go into the attic," said Captain Ruy Lozano with the Houston Fire Department.

Lozano says they provide and install thousands of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors this time of year for free.

"In this time of year, more than anything else, what everyone needs in their home is a smoke detector. More times than not, whenever we hear there's been a devastating fire, we find out there wasn't a working smoke detector in place."

Other than fireplaces, people use natural gas space heaters which can be dangerous.

"If you have any kind of defect or malfunction, you can get incomplete combustion. That is going to lead to carbon monoxide release which is ultimately a very deadly killer. Symptoms can be so mild and be undetected until it's too late," said Lozano. "Biggest mistake I would see is leaving children unattended around space heaters and have things like curtains and decorations around space heaters. Once a fire has started it is hard to control"

Lozano recommends people get electrical heaters if they need on because it's safer. The department strongly discourages people to use stove tops or ovens as heaters.

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