In general, you want to make sure that your heater gets regular maintenance.
Now is the time of year to have a professional check it over and make sure it is in good working order.
However, there are some last minute preps you can do to make it even safer before you turn it on for the first time.
That includes ways to avoid that burning smell the first time you turn the heater on.
"They can pull the bottom screens off and they can get a vacuum cleaner or a broom in there and clean up the dust and maybe pull some of the kid's toys out and away from the burners." said Clint Merithew, South Sioux City Fire Chief.
You should also keep objects away from the heating unit to make sure that the air flow is not being blocked.
You also want to have smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are in good shape.
If they haven't had maintenance they may be more sensitive to other factors.
"Smoke detectors can trigger from spiders, flies and dust so you'll want to keep that in mind as well. It's not necessarily indicating that you have a situation going on. It just might mean that your detector could be old or the batteries could be bad." said Merithew.
If you need a new detector you can purchase one at most hardware stores.
You might check with your local fire department as some also have them available.
Following these tips will help make sure you are warm and safe through the rest of the cold season.