TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — It’s the time of year when more people begin using things like space heaters to stay warm, and Indiana State Fire Marshal Joel Thacker said alternate heating sources can be safe if used properly.

Thacker said people should make sure to keep alternate heating sources far away from flammable items such as clothing, curtains and furniture. He also suggested keeping a three-foot perimeter around the heat source at all times.

Additionally, Thacker advised to never leave the heat source turned on in unoccupied rooms or while sleeping. He also said to make sure the heaters do not get knocked over.

However, Thacker said his main message for people is to just pay attention.

“We know that there are challenges,” Thacker said. “The cost of heating your home may be going up, and so you’re looking for alternate means to provide warmth and comfort to your home and so look at the information we have on our website.”

The website Thacker is referring to can be found here. Thacker also said he wants to remind people to always ensure there are working smoke alarms in homes.