Frigid temperatures and winter weather can sadly lead to a local tragedy where faulty heating systems result in structure fires. The Firemen's Association of New York (FASNY) are out this week reminding residents to heat their homes safely.

FASNY Association Secretary, John D'Alessandro was on WIBX's Keeler Show on Thursday discussing the importance of making sure you home is safe as temperatures dip into single digits and below zero. D'Alessandro said residents should test the battery and status of their smoke detectors every month, especially during the winter. He also stressed the importance of keeping flammable materials at least 3-feet away from a heating source.

January and February are peak months of home fires caused by heating sources. Space heaters and fireplaces can increase the risk of a home fire when used improperly. Space heaters are responsible for 25,000 residential fires and around 6,000 burn injuries that require an emergency room visit each year, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.  Homeowners should check that all their heating equipment is functioning properly and double check that all their carbon monoxide and smoke detectors have fresh batteries.

Here are some home heating tips from FASNY and the National Fire Prevention Association:

▪Keep anything that can burn at least three-feet away from heating equipment.

▪Have a three-foot “kid-free zone” around open fires and space heaters.

▪Never use your oven to heat your home.

▪Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacturer’s instructions.

▪Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.

▪Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.

▪Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel burning space heaters.

▪Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container. Keep the container a safe distance away from your home.

▪Test smoke alarms at least once a month.

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