Stay safe during winter months

POSTED: Monday, November 8, 2010 - 4:22pm

UPDATED: Monday, November 8, 2010 - 4:25pm

BATON ROUGE, La (WVLA) -- Could a routine inspection save your life? Experts say yes.

Brandon Hobgood has been in the heating business for 13 years. He looks for central heating system defects in homes all over Baton Rouge every day. It's an important job. Catching those problems could save a family from house fires or carbon monoxide poisoning.

"You definitely want to catch any potential safety hazards before you get into the really cold winter time," says Jim Wilson, owner of One Hour Air Conditioning and Heating in Baton Rouge. He suggests getting an inspection at least once a year.

Wilson says heating units sometimes emit a strange odor when they're turned on for the first time in a year. If that happens, he advises calling in a professional. "That's normally a sign that something needs to be checked or something needs to be cleaned."

A quick visit from a heating professional isn't the only precaution you should take. Experts want you to keep an eye on fireplaces and space heaters too.

"Every year, we have a number of instances that are caused by either flue leaks in fireplaces or space heaters or heating units," says Eldon Ledoux with the St. George Fire Department.

He suggests cleaning out your chimney and keeping flammable items, like blankets and furniture, at least three feet from heat sources. He also suggests buying a carbon monoxide detector for your home and checking all electrical wires to make sure they don't have an problems.

For more information on ways you can keep you home safe, check out the websites below.

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