Many Houstonians aren't really accustomed to winter weather. So when it starts getting cold they look for anything they can to ward off the chill, especially low income residents. The Houston Fire Department's Kenyatta Parker said they've seen people do some dangerous things.
"What concerns us is using things that weren't designed to keep a house warm, like the stoves or the ovens, candles or fire pits," explained Parker.
Parker said there are also a lot of people who use older gas heaters. He said if you have one of those, you need to make sure it's free of the dust and debris that collects when it's not in use. It's also important to have a working carbon monoxide detector.
"Anything or any appliance that produces combustion has a risk of carbon monoxide," said Parker.
And for any kind of heater, Parker also stresses the importance of a smoke detector. He said any Houstonian who needs one can ask at their local fire station or they can go to the fire department website.
As for other winter safety tips, Parker said it's also important where you place a heater. He said you need to keep clear a three-foot radius.