ODESSA, TX (KWES) - Winter weather has arrived. It’s important to stay warm and safe during cold weather.

Half of home heating fires are reported during the months of December, January and February and they are the leading cause of home fire deaths.

Avoid becoming a statistic by following these Odessa Fire Rescue heating safety tips:

  • Always test smoke  detectors and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
  • Have a three-foot child  free zone from any heat source
  • Space heaters should be  plugged in directly to a wall outlet
  • Keep anything that can  burn at least three feet away from heating equipment such as a furnace,  fireplace, wood burning stove or space heater
  • Turn off any space  heater when leaving the room or going to bed
  • Never use a stove or  oven to heat a home
  • Prior to using a  fireplace, have it cleaned and inspected by a qualified professional
  • Use a sturdy screen on a  fireplace to stop sparks from flying into the room
  • Ashes from a fireplace  should be cooled before putting them in a metal container and the  container should be kept a safe distance from home