Are your fire detectors working properly?

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The drop in temperature has local firefighters expecting the worst.

"Whenever the weather changes we see an increase in our call volume because people are using unconventional methods to heat their homes, sometimes that will cause fires," said Koby Johns.

Fire Fighter Koby Johns says those unconventional heating methods can include barbecues, propane and gas heaters. He notes any kind of open flame inside a home is a danger for both fire and carbon monoxide poisoning. He reminds everyone that the annual change from daylight savings time is a good time to check the batteries in your smoke detector.

"People neglect that we tell them every year, it's a cliché but smoke detectors can save lives, most fires happen in the middle of the night while you are sleeping," said Johns.

Some smoke detectors come with a CO-4 detector built in but Ian Williams at Fresno Ag Hardware recommends a separate unit and says the carbon monoxide detector, unlike the smoke detector, should not be on the ceiling.

"The molecule for carbon monoxide is about the same as air so it doesn't go up and it doesn't go down, it usually goes about chest level so what we recommend having both. You want to place your carbon monoxide filter at chest level instead of it being on your ceiling," said Williams.

He also notes the latest detectors can in addition to setting off a loud alarm, send a message to your cell phone. It is important to remember taking precautions can save lives.

"The reality is it happens every day in Fresno, someone's house catches on fire," said Johns.

Another thing to remember is that electric heaters can be a fire hazard if papers, drapes or clothes get too close.
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