Twin Falls, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV )
Common mistakes in the colder months can lead to big problems for families and homes.
Says Eric Schmitz, Captain of the Twin Falls Fire Department, "heating units themselves account for over half of the fires we have from December, January, February. We recommend you have your furnace serviced annually, change furnace filters monthly.
Randy Wright, Weatherization Director at South Central Community Action Partnership, adds, "It's a good idea to do basic stuff like being sure your dryer vent is cleaned out, so make sure you're not going to have a problem like that. Keep stuff away from your baseboard heaters, if you're using electric heaters make sure there isn't anything around them that can catch on fire."
Carbon monoxide poisoning is also a major concern.
Says Wright, "they need to make sure they have CO detectors and smoke detectors in case something catches on fire. You can't taste CO, you can't smell it (so a detector) is something you need in your home if you are using a heating device to heat your home."
Officials say the process of winterizing your home should begin now before it gets too cold out.
Schmitz notes, "have your heating systems inspected, furnaces surfaced, and have your chimneys looked at by someone who knows what they're talking about."
And, be sure to replace the batteries in your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors now.
Staying safe, before it's too late.