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How to keep your home warm and safe this winter

The things that keep you warm could be dangerous
Posted at 6:49 PM, Nov 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-01 19:49:07-04

LA VISTA, Neb. — "Space heaters. A fire Chief's worst thing probably," Papillion Fire Chief Bill Bowen said.

Now that it's starting to get cold out, it's time to fire up those space heaters, furnaces and chimneys. But without proper care and maintenance, all three can be a safety and fire hazard. Especially furnaces.

"First time you fire it up, it's going to be a little musty, we want to make sure there's no problems but we always encourage people to have that furnace checked," Chief Bowes said.

Alex Kopun of SOS Heating and Cooling performs check ups on furnaces often.

"Having it checked before you turn it on for the first time just to make sure that it's safe," Kopun said.

The threat of carbon monoxide leaks from old furnaces is very real.

"We've been preaching smoke detectors for ages and ages and people are generally getting pretty good about having smoke detectors. Now we want to go to the next step and get those carbon monoxide detectors," Chief Bowes said.

You can't smell carbon monoxide and you can't see it. Making those leaks deadly.

Space heaters are also big fire hazards if used improperly.

"Too often is space heaters used in bedrooms, blanket falls, near the space heater, and then that blanket catches on fire," Chief Bowes said.

Make sure to keep space heaters on the floor and have nothing immediately around them.

"Get that chimney checked, because that creosote builds up inside of it. Eventually that creosote can catch on fire," Chief Bowes said.