People wearing sweatshirts and toboggans outside the Salvation Army in Beaumont as they waited in line to find shelter inside the building away from Monday night's cold front.

Early Monday temperatures were in the mid 70's but began dropping to the mid 50's by sunset.

The temperature drop had Rhonda Gilchrist going to the local hardware store.

"It's getting colder and I was preparing so I can have a fire in the fire place because I love them dearly." she said.

The cold will be forcing many Southeast Texans to light their fireplaces and turn on their heaters for the first time this fall.

For some it will be the first time since February.

"It's crucial you have it checked by a technician," Ben Gay said.

Gay owns his own air conditioning and heating company.

He says a proper inspection can prevent things like house fires and carbon monoxide to build up in a home.

But an inspection is something that can only be done by a professional.

"We check the safety's, the connections, do a carbon dioxide test, check filters and pipes to make sure it's all working," Gay said.

Gay says the three most common furnaces are heat pumps, electric, and gas furnaces.

Gay says all types should be inspected at least twice a year to prevent disasters.

While Gilchrist prefers her cozy fireplace during the winter, she turns on her furnace at night and it's ready to go this winter season.

"Been keeping it serviced, I've had someone come out and it's ready to go," she said.

The Beaumont Fire Department also advises people to have at least one working smoke detector in their homes.