Updated: Tuesday, 29 Sep 2009, 4:47 PM EDT
Published : Tuesday, 29 Sep 2009, 4:31 PM EDT
DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) - This is a little early for a cold snap, but with temperatures possibly dropping into the upper 30s later this week plenty of people will turn on the heat. The problem? If you don't take proper precautions firefighters say the results could be deadly.
Doug Hatcher is a Fire inspector for the Moraine Fire Department and sees fires break out every fall do to poor maintenance.
"The cold weather sorta snuck up on us a little early this year. But you want to make sure you get your furnace checked by a certified technician and make sure the filters are changed on a regular basis to avoid build up."
With the chilly mornings almost here time isn't on your side, however if you must turn on the heat make sure to check the vents for any kind of blockage. Nests can sometimes clog chimneys and vents leading to lethal levels of carbon dioxide building up inside the home.
"When you turn that furnace on for the first time you may get an odor of something burning. Just be aware of that and if it continues and doesn't go away you may want to call to have someone come out and check it."
If you are using other sources of heat such as kerosene or space heaters, their are a few other items to consider.
"Keep a safety zone all around the space, three feet is what we recommend. And if you use a kerosene heater make sure to fill it up outside. Don't fill it when its still on or inside the house," says Hatcher.
Also, always remember to check your smoke detector and to check the battery. If something seems off, you can always call and ask your local fire department.
This shot of cool weather will be quick, so if you don't mind a few chilly mornings you should be fine. However as we get deeper into fall these spurts will get longer and longer so you might as well get things ready now.