EL PASO — During the winter months, heating safety becomes a critical concern for the El Paso Fire Department.
El Paso Fire Marshal Calvin Shanks said it is important to have furnaces installed and checked by a professional to make sure it is working properly.
Shanks said people often use unsafe means to keep their homes warm and that creates a dangerous situation.
"One of the things we have people try to use their stoves as a heating source. It's a very inefficient way to heat your home and if the heating element isn't working, you have a lot of carbon monoxide that can be generated in the home, said Shanks.
According to Shanks, portable heaters pose another danger.
"People don't use their portable heating appliances in a safe manner. You have to check and make sure that the cord is properly functioning, make sure that you keep three feet of clearance from any combustible materials," said Shanks.
Shanks also said liquid fuel burning heaters, such as propane heaters, should never be used indoors.