PIERCE, Neb. -- A northeast Nebraska fire department is helping educate the public on how to keep their homes safe from fires this winter season.

The Pierce Volunteer Fire Department knows that with the cold winter weather coming, Nebraskans will be breaking out the space heaters and candles to stay warm.

The Department said they see an uptick in house and structure fires during the winter compared to the warmer seasons.

Kelli Sindt, a firefighter with the PVFD, shared with News Channel Nebraska the most common objects and appliances that start fires in the winter.

"Using extension cords, power strips with the space heaters is a big one," she said. "Chimneys start a lot of fires, wooden stoves that aren't installed or not checked frequently are a big cause of fires in the Winter."

Sindt added that space heaters are not designed for long term heating or a primary source of heat for a home.

When it comes to fireplaces, chimney flues must be opened when fires are lit, and no items or stockings should be in the vicinity of the fires.

Fires in the home can happen when people least expect it.

"We have a sense of security in our own homes where we think that nothing will happen to us, this can't happen to us, but the reality it can happen in your home," Sindt said. "You want to do everything you can to make your home safe for your family, for your kids, for your pets."

Sindt also said that people should make sure their carbon monoxide detector is up to date and the batteries in smoke alarms are fully charged.

For more information about keeping your home safe this winter, visit the National Fire Protection Agency's website.