TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Freezing temperatures are on the way and that means people will be cranking up the heat to stay warm.
But this could get you in some trouble if you’re not prepared. Bio Ceramic Ring
Starting outside the home, it’s important to remember to wrap your pipes. You can use a foam wrap or use towels and even trash bags to make sure your pipes don’t burst from freezing temperatures.
When it comes to inside your home, there’s a lot of potential dangers you face just by turning up your heat.
50% of home fires happen during the coldest months out of the year, December through February. From an electrical short, to debris in furnaces, to heater malfunctions – the risk for home fires is high.
Space heaters are an easy way to heat your home, but make sure you plug it straight into the wall and not into an extension cord.
“Something to remember with space heaters is to keep a good three-foot defensible area around them because they do put off quite a bit of heat. Even common items can catch fire,” said Northwest Fire Captain Levi Cranford.
Two in five deaths in space heater fires involve portable, electric space heaters, so they should be turned off and unplugged before you go to bed.
The Northwest Fire District also sees several fires around this time of year involving creative, but dangerous ways to heat your home.
″Something that people will sometimes do if they have natural gas ovens or stoves, a lot of times they’ll turn on their burners to heat up their house,” Cranford explained. “That’s never a good option because we’re always concerned about carbon monoxide, possibly something falling on a burner, or something like that causing a house fire.”
Overall, Northwest Fire says the best thing to do before turning on the heat is to have a professional check out.
″I own over 30 trucks just in HVAC and they’re out from 7:00 a.m. to 8:30, 9:00 at night working nonstop. Right now, right before it starts getting cold like tomorrow’s going to be, we get slammed,” said Jake Cummings, owner of Cummings Plumbing.
Businesses like Cummings Plumbing are already seeing an influx of customers because of the cold weather. Cummings says you should have your furnace checked annually to avoid any issues.
“When you turn them on for the first time, you get that burning smell. A lot of that’s the dirt, hair from pets and stuff like that. We recommend they clean that,” he said. “There’s a heat exchanger and all that stuff inside there that need to be cleaned out and make sure you change your filter at least once a month.”
Something else to keep in mind this time of year as your turning on your furnace or using space heaters is carbon monoxide. Make sure your carbon monoxide detectors work and of course double check your smoke alarm.
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