PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) – Bay County firefighters are warning people about some of the wrong ways to heat their homes.

Bay County Firefighters said they’re already busy during the holiday season, but the approaching cold front could make their jobs much more challenging.

“So, we respond to a lot of house fires, and a lot of it comes from during the holidays,” said Training Captain Gabriel Moschella. “It’s typically going to be three things. So, your fireplace, you’re overloading your circuits because of Christmas lights, and space heaters. Then on top of that cooking, because everybody’s cooking for their family members, they get to talk, and there’s a lot on their minds trying to get their Christmas presents ready.”

Moschella said space heaters and the use of open ovens as a heat source are hazardous.

“We understand a lot of houses, you know, don’t have the means, so they have to use them, but just use them safely,” said Moschella. “So just make sure there’s no extension cord. It’s not plugged into an extension cord. It’s the only thing plugged into that outlet, and it’s, you know, three feet away from any flammable. So curtains of bedding, you don’t want your kids around it.”

Holiday cooking can also become a problem. Firefighters with Bay County Fire and Rescue showed how to extinguish a grease fire properly. The firefighters said most people try to cover it with another pan or pour water on the fire, but that only spreads the flames. Instead, use a fire extinguisher or a lid to smother the fire.

Moschella said synthetic materials make fires burn hotter and spread quicker. Moschella suggests checking your fire detectors and fire extinguishers annually to stay prepared.