How to Keep Your Home Warm -- While Also Staying Safe

WICHITA FALLS, TX - John Ferguson -- with Ferguson Veresh Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing -- said they expect business to spike after this recent cold spell.

"We will be busy this week. It's started. We will be working late tonight and probably working later tomorrow night," Ferguson said.

But they are not the only ones who may be extra busy during this week -- the Wichita Falls Fire Department also expects to be getting a lot of calls -- even more urgent than those to the heating people.

"December, January and February are the busiest time of the year that we see home heating fires," James Gowen, Wichita Falls Fire Department Assistant Fire Marshal, said. 

So how do you keep warm -- while also staying safe?

Check your furnace annually and do not store anything combustible near it.

"Be certain that if you have a gas furnace .... be certain that it's been serviced. That your flue pipe is clear. That you've got good combustion from your burners. That the integrity of your heat exchanger is good. Many of these things need a qualified technician to look at to verify," Ferguson said.

Make sure you space heater has a tip switch -- so that if it falls over, it shuts off automatically.

"Keep a three foot area clear around them and keep that area clear of your kids too," Gowen said.
 
Christmas decorations and lights can also pose a fire danger.

"UL and factory mutual listing on them. Make sure that they are for indoor or outdoor use.... whatever you intend to use them for. If you have a live tree, check it and water it daily," Gowen said.

Avoiding a devastating loss -- in what is supposed to be one of the happiest seasons of all.

Other advice from the fire department --  do not use the oven and burners to heat the home and stay in the kitchen the entire time while cooking.

And also -- make sure to check and clean your chimney and fireplace annually.
 


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