Not surprisingly, December, January, and February are the peak months for fires caused by home heating equipment. The main culprit? Portable space heaters, which cause more fires annually than central heating. Use space heaters only in well-ventilated spaces, and keep them at least three feet away from furniture, fabrics, draperies, and other combustible objects. Be sure that heaters have a properly working thermostat control, and look for models with an automatic shut-off feature. Although central heating isn't as big a contributor to home fires, it's still smart to have your system checked and maintained on an annual basis to ensure proper operation.