Experts are sharing some tips to keep fire tragedies at bay as more people turn up the heat with freezing temperatures in the forecast for San Antonio.

Heating equipment is one of the leading causes of home fire deaths, according to the National Fire Protection Association and fire officials say a few simple steps can help keep your family safe.

If you own a fireplace and plan on firing it up make sure to have an expert inspect it first .

“Maybe there could be a crack in the flue but there are also birds that make nests in the fireplaces, so when all that heat comes up…the nests catches on fire and that can cause a major fire , ” Battalion Chief Steve Reuthinger with the San Antonio Fire Department said.

The warning comes on the heels of a chimney fire Monday afternoon that destroyed a home and left a homeowner in the cold.

The fire spread quickly with the cold temperatures and the wind speed causing about $100,000 in damages, Reuthinger said.

Another big tip, never use a stove to heat up a home. Reuthinger says it's common but extremely dangerous. He says a potential gas leak could cause carbon monoxide poisoning and it could be deadly.

Space heaters are a popular choice to keep small spaces warm, but experts say they should always be at least three feet away from flammable items like blankets and mattresses.

Smoke detectors should be tested every month and as a rule of thumb the batteries should be replaced twice a year.