COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Temperatures are all over the place right now, and the Valley has already seen some frigid nights. Fire officials say one night of heating without proper safety measures could be all it takes to start a fire.
"That's the time to go ahead and get all of that checked out before you start using it because it only takes one time for something to malfunction and you can have a fire and we want to keep everybody safe here in Columbus," said Deputy Chief Greg Lang with the Columbus Fire and EMS Department.
The National Fire Protection Association encourages people to have furnaces and other heating equipment serviced at least once a year,as well as having their chimney and vents cleaned by a professional.
"Your heating units are one of your first or second leading causes of fires," said Lang.
Officials also recommend turning off plug in space heaters at night, and keeping it in a space away from children and flammable objects. They also encourage people to look into purchasing a portable space heater that has automatic shut-off capabilities.
Fall weather also presents fire hazards with the dryer weather, sometimes turning seemingly harmless behaviors into major threats.
"It just takes a little small, somebody flicking a cigarette bud out and it can catch the grass on fire," said Lang.
Officials also recommend changing smoke alarm batteries in the next few weeks during daylight saving time.