Visit the National Fire Protection Agency's website HERE
Lincoln, Neb.-- Overlook the small details and it could be a long winter.
Ken Hilger, a Lincoln fire inspector, said he sees the same issues pop up around this time every year.
"People will stay indoors," Hilger said, "and that's when accidents happen."
Hilger said some of the most common calls he sees this time of year are fires started by cigarettes, fireplace ashes and also carbon monoxide leaks.
In regards to the cigarette fires, Hilger said the cold weather keeps a lot of people indoors. If they fall asleep, or throw their cigarettes in the trash or near combustible materials, a fire can break out.
Sometimes, a fire may not start until six-to-eight hours later.
Hilger also said people will put fireplace ashes in unsafe containers outside next to their homes.
"If there's any combustibles nearby," Hilger said, "obviously that, the container they have it, will catch fire.
"Well, then if it's next to the house, we've got the siding on fire, the next thing you know, we've got the deck on fire."
He said the ashes can stay warm for up to four days. Hilger recommends that once the ashes have completely cooled they can then be removed and disposed of in metal containers.
And the carbon monoxide poisonings have already popped up in Lincoln.
One Lincoln household used a charcoal grill to heat their home after cooking. Hilger said the grill released carbon monoxide, poisoning five people.
"In a home," Hilger said, "the carbon monoxide builds up slowly, through time.
Hilger also warns now is the perfect time to check smoke detectors, gas detectors and your water heater. Hilger said these household items need to be in working order to make sure families can avoid potentially devastating gas and fire problems.
For more ways to keep your home safe this winter, visit the National Fire Protection Agency's website at http://www.nfpa.org.