Many Houston residents are resorting to space heaters and other appliances to stay warm in their homes as a result of the arctic front.

Mayor John Whitmire and other Houston officials announced additional warming centers during a news conference held Monday afternoon.

Houston Fire Department Chief Samuel Pena warned Houstonians to take appropriate precautions with using space heaters and generators.

“Be cautious with those space heaters. They are a danger if you leave them unattended,” Pena said.

“Cracking your windows or having your fans on does not alleviate the problem in the accumulation of carbon monoxide,” Pena said.

Fire officials told reporters that there have been a total of six calls related to carbon monoxide.

Officials said there is an increased risk of house fires in addition to concerns about carbon monoxide poisoning as Houstonians try to stay warm in the rapidly approaching freezing temperatures.

“Make sure that you have a working smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector on every level of your home,” Pena said. “Don’t sacrifice safety for warmth.”

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