WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — Household items designed to keep you warm could become deadly if not used properly. As we enter the colder season, firefighters are encouraging you to get your home heating equipment checked, they say it could save your life this season.
"As we get into the colder months, essentially November through March we begin to worry a little more about carbon monoxide," said West Lafayette Fire Department Captain Ryan Harber.
Harber said carbon monoxide poisoning can begin with something as simple as a furnace not functioning as it should.
"If you have an unexplained headache, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, even unexplained sleepiness, you know that could be a tell-tale sign that maybe your furnace isn't venting properly," said Harber.
Capt. Harber said carbon monoxide is colorless, odorless and tasteless so carbon monoxide detectors could save your life. He suggests having one on every floor of your house.
"If you have carbon monoxide detectors, that's great and when your carbon monoxide detector goes off, give us a call, give your local fire department a call we'll come out right away, check it for you to make sure everything's okay," said Harber.
If you don't have carbon monoxide detectors the fire department has you covered. Capt. Harber said not only will they check your furnace, but they'll also provide the detectors or you can purchase one at any home appliance store. But your furnace isn't the only heating item to pay attention to this season.
"Space heaters, unfortunately, it's an easy way to get some heat in a local area in your house but unfortunately two out of five home heating fires are caused by space heaters," said Harber.
Capt. Harber said to keep at least a three-foot distance between flammable items and your space heater. Between portable heaters and chimney's, these make up the cause for many of the fire department's calls this season.
"Please get your fireplace cleaned every year, if you use it, get it cleaned. The creosote build up inside the fireplace can get to be to the point where you light a fire it will actually start your entire chimney on fire and we do see that every year," said Harber.
WLFD is installing First Alert's smoke and carbon-monoxide two-in-one detector. Along with the fire department, you can also call your heating and air company to check your furnace.