Safely heating your home

SOUTH WALTON, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - With these freezing temperatures, the number one priority for most people is keeping their home nice and cozy.

So when it comes to heating up your home, fire officials want to make sure you do it as safely as possible.

They say to keep anything combustible at least three feet away from portable heaters and buy a space heater with an automatic turnoff switch in case it tips over.

They recommend cleaning your fireplace annually to remove buildup or nests that may cover the vents and say to never use the stove or oven to heat your home.

"Obviously, you want to make sure your air condition[ing] and heating units are working properly so we encourage everyone to get them checked before it gets hot and before it gets cold just to ensure its working properly," South Walton Fire District Fire Marshal Sammy Sanchez said.

Carbon monoxide poisoning is also a concern this time of year as people try to warm up their home with a gas furnace or warm their cars while in an enclosed garage, so they want to encourage everyone to make sure their smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are working.