MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Cold weather has some turning on their heater for the first time this season and people may smell something burning while the heater is on.

“It’s important that smell isn’t something that turns into a fire,” Mobile Fire Rescue PIO, Jeff Haller said.

According to Mobile Fire Rescue, on a national level half of home heating fires occur in December, January and February.

Mobile Fire Rescue shared some tips with WKRG to prevent a fire including keeping objects at least three feet away from all heating sources, having a working carbon monoxide detector, not heating your home with your stove or oven and if there’s a fire, making sure to have an escape plan.

Ensuring that you have a working smoke alarm also helps.

“Every month you should be pressing that test button to make sure it works,” Haller said.

But things that are not as obvious are things that Jeff Baldwin, owner of First Choice Residential, said are usually neglected.

“People’s houses catch on fire every year in the Mobile area because they haven’t inspected their chimney and haven’t cleaned it properly,” Baldwin said.

Mobile Fire Rescue said that you should get your chimney and heater serviced at least once a year.

Baldwin has serviced chimneys since 2009 and over the years he has seen many things that could cause a house fire.

“With all of the storms here on the gulf coast, we get debris, we get leaves we get critters, even Santa Claus gets stuck up there,” Baldwin said.

But when you clear out the debris fire is allowed to exhaust properly. Haller said these little things could make a big difference.

“Fire safety begins at home, we can respond to a fire, and we often do but the best way is to prevent a fire from starting in the first place,” Haller said.

Mobile Fire Rescue recommends that you change your smoke detector batteries when you set your clocks back on Sunday.