Firing up your furnace this fall? Follow these safety tips

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Many people are welcoming these cooler temperatures in the Mid-South, but they're also a good reminder to make sure you're prepared for the dangers that can come with them — including fires.

Local HVAC companies are starting to see an increase in service calls.

Technician Bradley Milligan with Conway Services says service calls have about doubled in the past two weeks.

"Whenever the winter or fall starts to hit, temperatures start to drop, we notice an influx in the call volume."

It's an increase they not only like to see for business reasons but also because it means people are keeping their safety in mind.

"It's always good to make sure everything's safe."

A spokesperson with the Memphis Fire Department said fires increase during the winter months with heating units being one of the leading causes of fires.

He said to have heating units checked, inspected and cleaned by a licensed technician before using them, saying debris and other problems can often be lurking.

"The easiest thing to do is start with your filter, check your filter three times a month and if you have any pets inside the home, I would recommend checking it every month."

It's also recommended to keep space heaters at least three feet from anything that can burn and make sure smoke detectors are working.

All steps to make sooner rather than later.

"Typically, everything fails in the hottest part of the year and also the coldest part of the year."

MLGW also has tips on its website (you can find here) to save energy when it gets colder.