The fire that destroyed this Crapaud house in March was caused by a space heater being located too close to a couch.

Homeowners should take care when using alternate sources of heat this winter, says P.E.I. fire marshal Dave Rossiter.

Some homeowners turn to space heaters during the winter to try to save on fuel costs, he said.

"A lot of people will have their home heating systems starting to max out. They're trying to find some sort of alternative, and that's when we're going to see the likes of space heaters come into play, whether they're electric or even a gas-operated one," said Rossiter.

"As long as those are used within the confines of the manufacturer's guidelines, they're fine. It's when you exceed that, and that's when we start to run into some problems."

Rossiter advises that home owners make sure they clear the area around space heaters and turn them off when they leave the room.

He also reminds those with wood or pellet stoves to store the ashes in a metal container and dispose of the ashes outside in the snow.