Keeping your family safe and warm

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CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF)- The Tennessee Valley experienced its first cold snap this week.

As temperatures begin to drop, heat has become a necessity.

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Reliable heating and air conditioning says that they have seen a 30 to 40 percent increase in calls since temperatures have dropped below 30 degrees.

But, if your heat goes out, you might not want to fix it yourself.

David Cornell with Reliable Heating & Air Conditioning says, “Call a professional. A lot of people around here have gas heat. Gas is not to be messed with and if you are having a problem, if you are smelling something unusual, if you are hearing something unusual, call a professional.”

Many people try to keep themselves warm by using a personal heater or *even* an oven.

The  Chattanooga fire department says that 40% of their fires between November and February are because of space heaters. First, pick the right place. Space heaters should be kept at least three feet away from walls, furniture, and bedding. Second, space heaters should be directly plugged into the wall. Plugging them into an extension cord can increase the risk of a fire. Third,  never leave a space heater on and unattended. Finally, make sure to get with tip-over and overheat protection.

Chattanooga fire department says that fire safety is important when it comes to putting up Christmas decorations and keeping live Christmas trees watered properly.

Chattanooga Fire Chief Phil Hyman, says, “Well obviously we want to follow manufactures recommendation on any of those tree lighting’s. The electrical plugs , we don’t want to overload an outlet with a number of those type of plugs. If you have a tree, you want to keep it watered and keep it three free from any kind of combustibles source like fireplaces, radiators, space heater, those type of things.”

According to Chattanooga fire, smoke detectors can be your first line of defense.