SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) _ The Illinois State Fire Marshal is offering tips for a fire-free fall .
Fire Marshal Matt Perez says leaves and sticks should be removed from gutters so they don’t fuel house fires.
Bonfires should be confined to a pit with side walls and should be limited in ize.
Perez says don’t burn leaves on windy days. Keep all fires at least 15 feet (5 meters) from structures and combustible materials.
Fall and holiday decorations should be fire-retardant. Use a battery light instead of a candle in jack o’ lanterns.
Space heaters indoors should be kept three feet (1 meter) from other objects such as curtains. Always unplug them when not in use.
The National Fire Protection Association says space heaters account for 43 percent of home-heating fires in the U.S.