Cold temperatures: furnace safety tips

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WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -

Some people across Kansas might be flipping on their furnace Thursday night, and fire specialists want you to know the warning signs to look for. 

Tessa Aldag, a Wichita resident, is surprised with how early she's considering turning on her furnace this year.

"In the past few days it's been really sunny and nice and when you walked outside today, it was cloudy and kind of drizzly," she says. 

Temperatures drastically dropped within the past week across Kansas. Some areas might even see a freeze. Aldag had no idea how dangerous flipping on the furnace could be for her health.

Captain Jose Ocadiz is a fire prevention specialist with the Wichita Fire Department. He says when you turn on your furnace for the first time, there could be a carbon monoxide leak. Having a CO detector is just as important as a smoke detector.  

"You won't know it's in your house until sometimes people pass away but also, you start becoming lethargic, getting a headache, you start throwing up," says Capt. Ocadiz.  

Aldag is relieved knowing she's protected this winter in her new home. "I'm thankful I have a detector so I really don't worry about it too much as long as the detector has batteries in it and it's doing what it needs to be doing." 

Ocadiz wants homeowners to make sure the flame on the furnace is a sky blue color. If there's hint of red or orange that's a sign of carbon monoxide and you should call a professional immediately. 

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