Date: January 1, 2022
News Release

Public Information Officer
Rachel Neutzler: (832) 509-7400

Harris County Fire Marshal Encourages Heating and CO Safety

Harris County – With temperatures across Harris County expected to plummet this weekend, the Harris County Fire Marshal’s Office (HCFMO) encourages everyone to practice heating and carbon monoxide safety. Heating equipment is one of the leading causes of home fire deaths but can be prevented by following a few fire safety precautions. 
“Harris County is expected to experience a cold air mass this weekend with temperatures falling dramatically,” said Harris County Fire Marshal Laurie L. Christensen. "We want everyone to stay warm and be safe. Proper use of space heaters and other home heating equipment is essential to keeping your family fire-safe and warm during this winter weather event."
The Harris County Fire Marshal’s Office encourages residents to follow these heating safety tips:
  • Place space heaters on solid, flat surfaces. Also, make sure your space heater has an automatic shut-off in case it tips over.
  • Check space heaters for cracked or damaged cords and plugs.
  • Plug space heaters directly into wall outlets, don’t use an extension cord or power strip.
  • Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or portable space heater.
  • Create a “kid-free zone” three feet from open fires and space heaters.
  • Never use your oven to heat your home.
  • Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
  • Test your smoke alarms monthly.
Half of home heating equipment fires are reported during the months of Dec., Jan., and Feb. Space heaters are the most common cause of home heating equipment fires. Along with practicing home heating safety, the Harris County Fire Marshal's Office recommends testing your smoke alarms monthly and creating and practicing a home fire escape plan.

During the last winter weather event, we saw an increase in carbon monoxide-related responses, injuries, and deaths. Carbon monoxide (CO) is a gas you cannot see, taste, or smell. It is often called “the invisible killer.” It is created when fossil fuels such as kerosene, gasoline, coal, natural gas, propane, methane, or wood don’t burn completely. CO gas can kill people and pets. The HCFMO provides these safety tips to prevent CO poisoning:
  • lnstall and maintain carbon monoxide (CO) alarms inside your home to provide early warning and reduce the risk of death from carbon monoxide.
  • Never use grills inside the home or the garage, even if the doors are open.
  • Before using the fireplace, open the damper for proper ventilation. When finished, leave the damper open until the fire is completely extinguished to prevent smoke and gases generated by embers from entering the home.
  • Never run a vehicle or other fueled engine or motor in a garage, even if garage doors are open. 

The mission of the Harris County Fire Marshal’s Office is to safeguard the lives and property of the residents in Harris County through effective fire prevention, fire investigation, education, emergency response, and emergency management.

Heating Safety Fact Sheet

7701 Wilshire Place, Houston, TX 77040                                             (713) 274-1700
Stay Connected with Harris County Fire Marshal’s Office on:
Copyright © 2022 Harris County Fire Marshal's Office, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp