As temperatures drop, the demand for heat rises - and so does the risk for fire. The National Fire Protection Association says half of all home heating fires occur in the three month period between December and January. Specifically, space heaters are responsible for about eighty percent of all home heating fire deaths.
"If you're using space heaters make sure all your fuel load are away from it - clothes, curtains and things like that," says Columbus Fire Department Captain Scott Boatner. "And if you've got a fire place it's very good to have a screen to go in front of it - keeps embers from popping out and landing on the carpet or your clothes or things like that especially if you go to sleep."
Fire officials say never to heat your home with kitchen appliances, such as a stove or oven. Additionally, cleaning and maintaining all heat sources - including typical furnaces - will reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. The first signs of the deadly, odorless gas tends to be headaches and dizziness, Boatner says.
Boatner recommends changing the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors regularly to insure they are working properly.