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With low temperatures expected to dip into the lower 40s this weekend â€” and expected to continue falling by midweek â€” many area residents will firing-up their heating units, a task local officials say could turn dangerous if certain precautions aren't taken.
Big Spring Fire Marshal Carl Condray said the first cold-snap of the fall season usually signals an upswing in the number of fire- and smoke-related calls he and the firefighters with the Big Spring Fire Department respond to.
â€śWhen the temperature begins to fall and people start looking for ways to stay warm, we usually see an increase in calls,â€ť said Condray. â€śSome are just smoke scares, but some of them are very serious, even life threatening.â€ť
Condray said one of the most common dangers comes from heating units that haven't been used since the winter and late spring.
â€śMake sure that your heater is adequately prepared for the season,â€ť said Condray. â€śBy that I mean have it serviced by an air conditioning and heating professional. You can also have the gas company come out and check it over. Homeowners can also help reduce the risk of a fire by checking their filter. A clean filter will allow the unit to be more effective and the fan unit to operate better."