Inspect and service furnace by a qualified professional. (A furnace should be serviced at least once a year.)
Clean and inspect chimneys and vents by a qualified professional and check for creosote build-up. (Not cleaning your chimney is the leading cause of chimney fires from built up creosote. This service needs to be done at least once a year.)
Wood for a fireplace or wood stove should be dry, seasoned wood.
Fireplace screen should be metal or heat-tempered glass, in good condition and secure in its position in front of the fireplace.
Have a covered metal container ready to use to dispose cooled ashes. (The ash container should be kept at least 10 feet from the home and any nearby buildings.)
Teach children to stay at least 3 feet away from the fireplace, wood/pellet stove, oil stove or other space heaters.
Make sure portable space heaters have an automatic shut-off.
Plug portable space heaters directly into an outlet (not an extension cord) and place at least 3 feet from anything that can burn; like bedding, paper, walls, and even people. (Place notes throughout your home to remind you to turn off portable heaters when you leave a room or go to bed.)
Test smoke alarms and make sure they are working. (You need smoke alarms on every level of the home, inside each sleeping room and outside each separate sleeping area. For the best protection, the smoke alarms should be interconnected so when one sounds, they all sound.)
Test carbon monoxide alarms and make sure they are working. (Carbon monoxide alarms should be located outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home.)