Homeowners reminded to get heaters serviced before use - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Homeowners reminded to get heaters serviced before first season's use

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PHOENIX -

Firefighters around the valley have been getting a lot of calls lately. Most of them are from homeowners who are turning on their heaters for the first time in months.

Wayne Halsey knows what it's like to have no heat coming out of the vent in the house.

"It just gave out. I was sitting in here at 40 degrees, getting home at night with my little electric heater and my sleeping bag," says Halsey.

Before Halsey turned on the heater, he hired an expert to check it out.

"I've gotten calls for smoke issues because of a motor burning out or wires catching on fire," says technician Brent Rademaker.

Rademaker with Hobaica Services checked Halsey's unit inside and outside, and made sure there was no debris in the vents.

It's something valley firefighters encourage everyone to do, for good reason.

"People turn them on just because it gets cold. They don't get it serviced, then all of a sudden they smell smoke and the alarms go off," says Phoenix Fire Capt. Larry Nunez.

In a 24 hour period between the 11th & 12th of November, firefighters got 58 calls about smoke alarms going off. It was a record.

"It's just the alarms going off at this point. Some of these units can cause a fire. If they have not been serviced they can start a fire," says Nunez.

Servicing a heating unit doesn't take much time, and isn't expensive. As Halsey would say, it gives you peace of mind.

Firefighters are asking homeowners to keep the vents in their homes clean to avoid fires and false alarms.

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