Woodward, Okla. —
CARBON MONOXIDE ALSO A RISK
However, fires are not the only hazard posed by space heaters, Hobbs said.
"You also want to make sure you provide proper ventilation to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning," she said.
Hobbs recommends people acquire carbon monoxide detectors for their homes as well, as they're inexpensive and could help save your life by detecting the odorless, tasteless, colorless gas.
And space heaters aren't the only heating apparatuses people should watch out for carbon monoxide leaks. Hobbs recommends people have their central heating units, floor furnaces, recessed wall heaters, vented space heaters and other vented gas/fired heating appliances inspected annually by a qualified service technician prior to use.
For those heaters that use a flame, she noted that keeping an eye on the flame can also help prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
"If your flame is not blue, it's not burning properly. It is producing carbon monoxide, and it needs to be turned off," she said.
Hobbs said people can help prevent carbon monoxide leaks by ensuring these devices have proper ventilation pipes to the outside, using metal tubing with threaded ends connecting the heater to the gas valve as opposed to rubber hose, and by following the manufacturer's recommendations for proper usage.
"If you suspect a leaks," said Hobbs, "use soapy water to check all connections and valves for leaks. Never use a match to test for a gas leak."
For more information about how to protect your home from fires and gas leaks, contact Melissa Hobbs at 571-5292.