EDINBURG, Texas (KVEO) — February is one of the leading months for at home heating fires, according to the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA). With colder temperatures approaching the Rio Grande Valley, there is a huge concern from local authorities.

According to Edinburg Fire Chief Shawn Snider, most at home heater fires are due to families with limited resources.

Snider encourages families who can not afford proper heaters to bundle up.

“Whenever we have citizens that don’t have resources available to them, the one thing we encourage is layers. If you don’t have heaters, if you don’t have central heating, then the best thing is to layer up your children and the seniors in your home by putting on multiple layers,” he said.

Snider says it is common for residents to panic during cold weather as it is something hardly dealt with.

One of the most common mistakes he has seen over the past years is the usage of devices not meant for indoors.

“One of the things that we’ve seen in the couple years is that residents start to use devices that are not designed to use inside a home, anything that operates with gas, needs to be properly ventilated so if you use a propane or natural gas heating devices,” he said.

Snider said devices with propane and natural gas are meant to be outside.

He reminds the community that using inappropriate heating equipment can be extremely harmful for one’s health and even lead to death.

“Whether you are dealing with carbon monoxide or smoke, you don’t have minutes to escape. You have seconds to escape and get outside of that environment,” he said.

For further information on fire safety, Snider encourages everyone to contact their local fire prevention office or fire department.