DICKINSON, N.D. (KXNET) — With colder weather on the horizon, many people may be tempted to bring out their space heaters.

However, Dickinson Fire Department says it’s important that you know how to properly use a space heater.

Deputy Chief Mark Selle said preventing a deadly fire can be as simple as reading the instructions that come with the space heater.

“You always want to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations on how to use that space heater. Making sure they are not plugged into a power strip,” said Selle. “They give off a lot of power so they need to be plugged directly into an outlet.”

He also says it’s important to make sure you unplug your space heater at night and to make sure your smoke detectors work.

“You need to make sure the batteries have been replaced,” said Selle. “That they are functioning and that they have been installed properly. Without being notified of what’s going on you’re not going to know there is a fire in your home.”

Some families often times push their luck, using space heaters as their only source of heat, which is something the fire department says you should never do.

“Space heaters are used for supplemental heat,’ said Selle. “You want to make sure the furnace and your heating appliances in your home are working properly.”

The North Dakota Department of Human Services does offer Heating assistance for residents through a program.

That program is called the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program.

“The program is able to support different types of heating and it’s also available for homeowners and households that are renting,” said Michele Gee, director of economic division at the North Dakota Department of Human Services.

The program helped more than 14,000 families last year.