POSTED: Sunday, October 11, 2009 - 6:27pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, March 17, 2010 - 11:05am
TYLER - It's officially fall, and the air is starting to feel a little chilly.
With the weather expected to get even colder in the coming months, East Texans are going to be cranking up the heat to stay warm.
Home heating equipment is the number one cause of house fires each and every year.
"It's just like people and their automobiles. As long as you can get in your car and drive it down the road most people will do that until it's a big problem," Tony Gumber from the Tyler Fire Department says.
Sometimes waiting can be a big mistake. Instead fire officials say there are easy things you can do to make sure this doesn't happen to you and your family.
Firefighters say anyone with gas or propane heating should have their burners and vent pipes checked annually.
Cleaning out the dust and other particles that can be hazardous is something you can do yourself.
A good tip to remember: look for the blue flame.
If pilot lights and burners have a steady, blue flame, they are good to go.
If you see a yellow flame, air inlets are most likely clogged or your burners need adjustment.
Never use a gas range for home heating.
"That is not designed for that its putting out a lot of CO when its running wide open like that," Gumber says.
If you have electric heating make sure to keep draperies and decorations away from the heaters.
Changing the filters on central heating units seasonally is also a smart safety precaution.
Regardless of what kind of fuel you use to heat your home, anytime you smell or hear something strange, call for help immediately.
A leak can be dangerous, if not fatal.
To be on the safe side if probably wouldn't be a bad idea to make a trip to your local hardware store and pick up a carbon monoxide detector.
They are available at most stores.