WALLINGFORD, Conn. (WTNH) -- Some homes already have the heat on, especially at night. It's about to get even colder this weekend and firefighters are worried that people could make some mistakes that have ended tragic in the past.
"I can't imagine something like that happening to any of my kids or grandkids like what happen to the other kids," said Marta Plaza, of Wallingford.
Firefighters and people living inside a Spring Street home in Wallingford are still talking about what happened happened there last October.
"We took a whole family to the hospital last year," said Jim Duffty, Wallingford Fire Dept. "They were that close."
"I don't know what she was thinking at the moment."
A mother used a charcoal grill inside the home so she and her five children could stay warm. They almost died from carbon monoxide poisoning. That family has since moved and little JJ and his family moved in. Kathryn Nelson Heinz still lives upstairs and gets sad thinking about that day.
"It was tough because even though she had five kids and a husband, he wasn't there all the time and was looking for work and could find any," said Heinz.
Firefighters say people are even lighting chimneys inside their home. Poorly maintained wood stoves and furnaces also keep them busy this time of year.
"Two things could happen. CO buildup in the home, and our house fires and chimney fires. Both are really dangerous," Duffty said. "If it's your furnace, you need to hire a professional to change the nozzles and inspect it. Wood stoves, same thing. If you're reasonably talented you can do it yourself, but it should be inspected yearly by a professional chimney sweep if you burn wood."
If you really don't want to turn on your heat just yet, firefighters are asking you to go to your local hardware store. For as little as $10, you can buy a window insulation kit. That should do the trick.
"You can put plastic over your windows, wear heavier clothing. Keep your doors and windows closed. There are alternatives."
Firefighters remind you to also have working smoke detectors on every floor. Carbon monoxide detectors are also strongly suggested. The bottom line is that right now is the time to make sure your home is safe for the winter.
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