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(WBIR-Knoxville) Temperatures have dropped into the 20s at night in Knoxville. To cope with the cold, people are turning to their heaters. That means firefighters are bracing for a round of calls tied to heating homes.

Knoxville Fire Department Spokesman D.J. Corcoran says people should be mindful if they have an automatic thermostat.

"The last time it was on (the thermostat) was last year when it was 20 or 30 degrees and they may have thought it was off but it just hasn't kicked back on because of the automatic thermostat," Corcoran said.

If an object is near the thermostat when it does turn on, it could cause a fire. Corcoran said, within a three-foot radius, nothing should be near a space heater or wall heater.

If someone uses a kerosene heater, the room should be kept ventilated.

Those with a fireplace should get a certified chimney sweep to come out and clean it before using it.

Corocran warned homeowners to be careful of dry foliage on the top of roofs and in the gutters.

"If you have a fireplace, it may pop up an ember on top and it could land in those dry leaves and start a fire on the exterior of your home," Corcoran said.

Firefighters also recommend during daylight savings time people change their clocks, and their smoke detector batteries.

October is National Fire Safety Awareness Month.

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