Many people ran their furnaces for the first time this weekend. But dropping storm windows shouldn't be the only way you prepare for the winter.
Onalaska Fire Chief Don Dominick says there are just as many house fires in the winter as in the summer, and functioning detectors and easy access to fire extinguishers are paramount to your family's safety.
"One of the biggest contributing factors," said Chief Dominick. "And it's about 40%, of structure fires in the winter is from cooking. So when you're in the kitchen, think about the fact that first of all, that you have a fire extinguisher and it's near by."
Smoke detectors should be checked on a regular basis and electric smoke detectors should have battery back-up.
Carbon Monoxide detectors are equally important and should be on every level of your home.
"Fires people will smell, something gets hot, they'll see smoke," said Chief Dominick. "They can see flames. But carbon monoxide is that silent killer because again, there's no odor, there's no taste."
Besides checking detectors regularly, Chief Dominick encourages every family to have a fire plan and rehearse what will happen.