Fire officials: Make sure your chimneys, heaters are safe before using them this winter

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Officials are reminding residents to be cautious when turning on their heaters for the first time during the winter.

Homeowners are encouraged to check — or have a professional check — their chimney for cracks, which could create a fire hazard.

“A hairline crack can expand up to a quarter of an inch and can let a hot ember right into the inner wall of the chimney, which then has the potential to start a fire in the house,” said Dan Lennon, of Chimney Champ.

Experts said the cracks can also let in carbon monoxide (CO) gases.

“CO is odorless, and you won’t know that it’s building up and lots of times, unfortunately in the past before we had detectors, we were actually finding people deceased in their homes,” said John Alston, New Haven Fire Chief.

Related: Stretch Your Dollar: Tips for saving on your heating bill

Experts also said to clear off any heaters, including dust, before turning them on.

Homeowners and renters are reminded to test their smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and replaced the batteries yearly.

Watch the video above for more information.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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