Use early heatwave to prepare homes for Valley summers, officials say

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- April isn't typically known for hot weather but with potentially record-breaking heat coming as soon as Thursday, homeowners are preparing.

Already busy with preventative maintenance appointments, Valley Air Conditioning and Repair has all staff on call as the first heatwave means an uptick in system repairs.

"They may get caught where their system isn't working because it came up so fast," says Estimator and Build Consultant Steve Mendrin. "Usually, we don't have this type of a heat this fast."

Mendrin says the earlier than expected warm-up paired with supply chain issues has them warning consumers to check their systems now.

He says once their company noticed the delay in shipments, they stocked up on parts including air filters and equipment.

"All of these here, we probably have about 50% allocated for our consumers but at least we have equipment because our suppliers won't have anything for two to three weeks," he said.

Getting prepared is a sentiment CAL FIRE crews are echoing as hotter and drier conditions mean the potential for an explosive wildfire season.

They too are gearing up, transitioning from winter preparedness to staffing 10 additional engines in the summer.

"Drought conditions are always concerning," says CAL FIRE Fresno County Battallion Chief Dan Urias. "That's why we're bolstering our staffing levels to make sure were prepared for the demands the fire season is going to bring."

Urias says there are steps homeowners should be taking to make their house fire safe.

"Use the cooler weather to clear defensible space," he said. "Home hardening practices meaning removing vegetation that's dead or dying around the home, especially stuff that's butted against the home. That's really concerning for firefighters."

Another concern going into these potentially record breaking days is water safety.

A reminder that bodies of water like canals throughout the city may look inviting and tame, but they have strong currents underneath the surface as well as debris.

The only people that should be in those canals are workers that are repairing or cleaning the canal.
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