CASPER, Wyo. To start, make sure that your fireplace, pellet stove, or wood stove are up to code and installed correctly.
"Most manufacturers... they'll have clearance codes and those will be stamped on the back of the stove, so if you buy a manufactured stove that's been tested you'll find all that on there." Said Steve Schicketanz of Magic City Stoves.
Another important step to take is to ensure your chimney is clean.
If the chimney is completely clogged, smoke and fumes will enter your home.
"If you don't clean them out yup it will cause a fire or an obstruction and basically backfill everything and fill your house with smoke and cause extensive smoke damage." Explained Casper Firefighter Jason Speiser.
Space heaters are commonly used during winter, and also need to be used properly.
"Plugged into the appropriate reciprocal and they're UL Space HEaters a lot of the older ones out there they don't have the Anittip Mechanisms. The newer ones if they tip over they turn themselves off," said Speiser.
Don't leave space heaters unattended and make sure they have clearance.
Along with having furnaces inspected and maintained, Speiser recommends having CO Detectors in the house to protect from carbon monoxide poisoning.
"CO detectors especially in the winter time when the houses are closed up more so if you have some time of CO problem it can alert the occupants in the house you do have one."
Lastly, always make sure that you have a smoke detector and that it is in working condition.
Something else to keep in mind this holiday season: don't throw wrapping paper, plastic, or boxes in the fire.
If you need to borrow a chimney brush you can check one out from fire station one for free.