With winter officially here, the Firemen's Association of the State of New York wants you to stay warm this winter, but also stay safe. They have some helpful tips for you to do so.

This winter has been pretty mild for the most part, but it's not over yet. And with the last bout of snow we received, winter is sure to make its presence throughout the next few months. That being said, on those really cold days and nights it's important to keep yourself warm. But you need to be safe at the same time.

We often forget some of the things we use to heat ourselves can actually be dangerous. That's why the Firemen's Association of the State of New York has come up with some tips to help you out.

First of all, space heaters. Don't leave the room while using one - You never know what could happen. Also, don't use them in small spaces or rooms (and if you do, leave a window cracked to circulate the air). Also read the manual (or box), and follow all warnings. They'll tell you not to use an extension cord to plug it in, and to let it cool down before putting it away.

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If you have a fireplace, you know how wonderful they can be on those chilly nights. Make sure the chimney is open (It sounds stupid, but you would be surprised how often it happens). Also, don't burn trash, newspaper, or other objects like that, and make sure your chimney gets inspected at least once a year. It could save your life.

For those who have gas or electric furnaces, make sure you have them inspected. That's the biggest thing you can do to keep you and your family safe. If you smell something 'odd,' see smoke, or if something doesn't seem right - Get out of your house and call a professional.

The biggest thing you can do to keep yourself safe is to test your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. You hear it all the time, but how often do you really check them? You should test them once a month, and change the batteries every six months. It may sound like a pain, but those few minutes you spend every month could end up saving your life.

For more tips and information on keeping safe this winter go to: nfpa.org