Fall is in the air and temperatures are dropping. As the temperature changes your risk of being caught in a house fire increases.
Morgantown Fire Department Captain Ken Tennant said, "Fires normally increase as the weather gets cold because we're turning on items that have open flames. We're also using electrical items that can malfunction or be used improperly."
A malfunctioning heating system is one of the leading causes of fires during the colder months of the year. Firefighters recommend having it checked by a professional before you turn it on for the first time, but not everyone does.
J.T. Marra is a technician for Precision Plus HVAC. He said, "People have been getting a little bit better at it, but still it's not the way it should be."
Those who are seeking help from the professionals believe it's worth every penny. That's why many of them try to have their systems checked at least once every year.
"Before the really cold weather starts we wanted to make sure there are no problems with the furnace and not have any surprises," said Monongalia County resident Stephanie Magean.
Some of those surprises can be costly or even deadly. That's why professionals have three major things they look for in order to help keep you safe.
"Number one is keeping those filters clean that is essential. That can actually be done by the homeowner or a service professional. Number two would be seasonal maintenance. This needs to be done by a maintenance professional. Number three and most importantly is your carbon monoxide detector. Make sure they have batteries in them," said Marra.
Before you turn the dial or flip the switch to your heating system this fall, make sure you or a professional check everything before to make sure its safe. If you have any questions about whether it's safe or not, call your local fire department or maintenance professional.