The winter cold is here and looks like it is here to stay. With the upcoming few months promising more chills and the potential for snow and ice, it is time to crank up the heat. Before you turn on your heater after months of rest, make sure you are heating your home safely with these simple tips.

Test Smoke Alarms
Before you add heat to your home, make sure your smoke detectors are working properly. Sometimes heaters can cause fires, and you need to make sure your alarms are ready to warn you if your family is in danger.

Turn off the Oven
While it might seem like a genius idea, do not use your oven to heat your home. This can cause the oven to catch fire, or someone in your home to unknowingly touch the hot surface.

Be Smart with Space Heaters
If you need to use a space heater, first make sure it is in proper working order. Look for any damage, faulty wires or unsafe sparks. Once it is on, make sure there is nothing within three feet of the heater.

Have Kid-Free Zones
If you have kids, make sure they don’t go anywhere near any heating equipment. Tell them they must stay at least three feet away from anything that produces heat like a space heater or furnace.

Trust the Pros
Have a professional come and look at all your heating equipment, handle repairs, and make sure your home can be safe and cozy.

Know Your Fuel
If your heat source uses fuel, then make sure you use the right kind. Read your user instructions to find out what your appliance is made for.

Clean Your Chimney
Before you light a cozy fire, make sure your chimney is clear of all debris. Hire a chimney sweep to know it is properly cleaned.

Cover Your Fireplace
Put a sturdy screen in front of your fireplace to ensure sparks do not fly at anyone, and that no one is too close to the flames.