Fire officials urge safety for the colder months

ROSEBURG, Ore. -- Each year as the weather begins to cool down, the Roseburg Fire Department sees more home fires, injuries and even deaths, all caused by everyday home heating appliances.

Monte Bryan, Deputy Fire Marshal for the department, says there are things you can look for to make sure your heating appliances don't leave you hurt or homeless. "The fire department really wants to urge people as it gets colder outside and they're starting to heat their homes, to do so safely," said Bryan. "If they're using a kind of portable space heater, make sure the pets are kept away from it and kids, and that no extension cords are used because that can cause a circuit overload. It can cause fires."

Bryan says that fire crews stay busy this time of year. "We have a lot of those fires throughout the year in the winter time," Bryan said.

There were nearly 2,000 fires related to home heating from 2008 to 2012.

Officials say that having a tip-over swtich on portable electric heaters is very important. "If you're going to use electric portable heaters in your house, make sure they have good clearance and they have a tip over switch," Bryan said. "Often times, an electric heater will be turned on and it will tip over, be knocked over. It doesn't turn off and it can start a fire once it hits the carpet or any type of combustible."

Officials are urging the community to use these safety tips to prevent a fire in your home.