AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — The Amarillo Fire Department is asking people to be cautious this time of year.
According to the AFD, fires happen every year that are started by people trying to keep warm. Learning what to look for is the first step in keeping your home safe.
“Sometimes your filter gets old and dusty. Sometimes wrappers from the insulation, or those filters can get stuck into the unit and you don’t even know it’s there. Trash and even birds’ nests, it gets in the furnace and whatever is in there can catch fire,” said Captain Cody Snyder of the Amarillo Fire Department.
Captain Snyder said turning on other appliances to heat your home can be another factor in causing sparks.
“A lot of people tend to use space heaters. They’re a good supplement but they should never be used as a primary source of heating,” Captain Snyder stated.
The AFD asks people to consider when to use space heaters and also consider what type may be the safest.
“There are a few that have safeties built into them to where if they get knocked over they’ll shut off,” Captain Snyder said.
However, space heaters are not the only appliance people should use with caution.
“Older homes will have floor furnaces in them. People completely forget about those until they kick it on in the winter and their chair is on fire,” said Captain Snyder.
Even if an appliance does not cause a fire, using one improperly can still cause damage and even death.
“If you crank up any kind of gas-powered heating device that’s not heated properly, it can fill your house with CO and if you don’t have a detector it can make you very sick, even cause some fatalities,” Captain Snyder said.
The Amarillo Fire Department is asking people to do research on appliances and have professionals inspect their heating systems to ensure safety.
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