SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Over the past 10 days, the Syracuse Fire Department has responded to 8 structure fires, marking 65 major fires this year.

Deputy Chief John Kane said the department has responded to nearly 20,000 calls so far this year, but recently crews have been putting out house fires.

“As seasons change, the causes of the fire or the other incidents we go to change”

Deputy Fire Chief John Kane, Syracuse Fire Department

As the years go by, the causes of some house fires remain consistent.

Deputy Chief Kane said unattended cooking and careless disposal of smoking materials are big causes.

Now that we’re getting into the colder months, space heaters can be a dangerous problem too. The Syracuse Fire Department says if you don’t have to use one, don’t.

“If you do use them, don’t plug them into an extension cord and don’t leave them unattended,” Deputy Chief Kane said. “If you turn a space heater on, don’t leave the room. Never use them while you’re sleeping and keep them away from anything combustible.”

If you have a central heating system in your home, make sure you have it cleaned and serviced.

Other tips from the American Red Cross include:

  • Place smoke alarms on each level of your home
  • Check the manufacturer’s date of your smoke alarms
  • Include at least two ways to exit every room
  • Select a meeting spot at a safe distance away from your home
  • Tailor your escape plan to everyone’s needs in your household

The Red Cross responds to 27% more house fires from November to March than in the warmer months.