SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – This week’s snow storm is a reminder that it’s getting colder in Utah. As more people heat their homes, firefighters are sharing a warning about to make sure you do it safely and avoid a house fire.  They said that most fires started by heating equipment are because of poor maintenance — so take every safety measure you can.

“The colder weather comes around and we are always very concerned about home heating. It is one of the main leading causes we see house fires every year in our nation and certainly locally as well,” said Captian Eric Holmes with Unified Fire Authority.

He said when the weather is getting colder, it’s time to make sure that while you’re trying to keep your homes warm, you’re also working to keep them safe. To prevent fires, he recommends chimneys be swept, checked and inspected and that furnaces are serviced appropriately at least once a year.

With the colder temperature, you might want to bring out a space heater to warm up your room – but he says if you do so, to remember that they can be hazardous if left unattended.

“These things are super dangerous because they are very underpowered for heating large spaces,” said Holmes.

If you have a space heater, Holmes says to watch it, maintain it and keep it away from combustibles, like carpets or drapes, and make sure to not leave it on when you go to sleep.

“Approximately four our out of every five civilian deaths we see every year are directly tied to space heaters and home heating,” he said.

When it comes to house fires, he says prevention is key, and also suggests having smoke or carbon monoxide detectors so you can be warned early on. 

“Smoke detectors save lives. There’s no doubt about it. Typically, across the country a lot of the that we see on an annual basis largely are due to people not having smoke detectors in their house, they just don’t have the warning,” he said.

This Sunday as you are already changing your clocks for Daylight Savings, Holmes said it’s also a good time to remember to change your batteries in your smoke detector.