This time of year firefighters see a big increase in the amount of house fires they respond to because more of us are using additional heating sources.

Boise Fire Department Deputy Chief Romeo Gervais says the first thing we need to remember to protect ourselves from fire is placement of heating devices.

"At a minimum keep about three feet of clearance around those space heaters, whether it's hay or your blanket that's in the bedroom," said Gervais. "Heaters do heat up, so if those devices overheat or get too close to combustibles they could ignite those."

He also says make sure heating devices can't be knocked over by animals or children because that could lead to trouble as well. Also, make sure they have safety features like tip-over protection and overheat shutoffs.

Gervais says check smoke detectors and make sure they're working, and have a carbon monoxide detector outside of every bedroom. If you have a chimney, have it inspected at least once a year.

He says it's also always a good idea to have a home safety plan so in case a fire does break out everyone knows what to do and where to meet outside.