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Heating mistakes to avoid this winter

Posted at 10:39 PM, Feb 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-09 08:52:01-05

TULSA, Okla. — Freezing temperatures make it a struggle to stay warm.

The Tulsa Fire Department is warning citizens to be careful with how they heat their homes. People may be tempted to plug in a space heater, but Andy Little, TFD's public information officer, said not so fast.

“In the perfect world, I would say don’t use space heaters because they’re very dangerous," Little said. "They cause many, many house fires and many fire deaths around the country.”

If you do use a space heater or something similar, Little said to plug only one heating device into each outlet, don’t use extension chords and keep it three feet from anything that could be flammable.

“The curtains, the couch, a laundry basket, anything that could catch fire should be away from that," Little said.

Winter is also a dangerous time for carbon monoxide, which has no smell or odor and can be deadly. Little said it’s important to have a carbon monoxide detector and check it monthly, and be very careful with a generator.

“If you’re going to utilize a generator, you should make sure that it’s not near any windows and it’s far enough away from your home that it doesn’t come back inside," Little said. "The garage is a bad idea. We recommend you don’t warm up your car in your garage.”

Little said if you want to use your fireplace, get your chimney checked for build-up, and don’t try heating your house with the oven or something like a grill.

“During the winter months, people sometimes use their stoves to heat their house, which is a no-no," Little said. "But if that’s not properly plumed or working properly, it can raise carbon monoxide levels in your home which can be deadly.”

Little said it’s also important to have a working smoke detector and develop a fire safety plan with your family.

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