Monroe County Fire and EMS in Forsyth set up a lifelike demonstration Monday, all to stress the importance of home-heating safety.

Monroe Fire Captain Shane Cook posed as a homeowner in need of sugar for his "wife," but leaves the space heater on too close to his chair.

In just minutes, the chair went up in flames, and soon, the entire house.

But Captain Cook says this can all be prevented.

"Make sure you've got that 3-foot radius around your space heaters, " Cook continued," It's also important to make sure space heaters are plugged directly into a wall, not into extension cords. They're not designed to handle the electrical load or the heat produced by space heaters."

Cook also advises to read each manufacturer's instructions for the space heaters -- some require more space away from furniture.

Regardless of the theatrics, Cook says this is a serious matter.

Home heating safety tips don't start and end with a space heater. The oven can be a problem, too.

"You certainly leave your oven on to heat your home and it can really over work a lot of those wires."

Mistakes happen, so the best thing to do, Cook says, is to be equipped with the proper safety precautions, starting with fire alarms and fire extinguishers.

"They save lives," Cook said.

"Pull the pin, aim the fire extinguisher, squeeze the handle, and sweep the base of the fire," Cook said, explaining the proper way to handle extinguishers.

All of these are small steps you can take to prevent a big problem.

Cook also advises getting a carbon monoxide detector. Both fire and carbon monoxide detectors can be purchased at large retailers like Lowe's and Home Depot.