Safety is serious business and fire officials stress there are ways to prevent a fire from happening in your home.
"Every household in the community needs to have a working smoke detector," said David Hill, a fire investigator with the Monroe Fire Department.
Hill said most fire fatalities seen throughout the nation happen in homes without present or functioning smoke alarms.
"They'll have smoke detectors up there that haven't changed the battery in three years," he said.
And those devices help give people the extra few minutes to get up, and get out.
It's generally recommended that homes have one smoke detector per floor, but local firefighters recommend having more than that -- a smoke detector in each end of the house or two to four depending on the size.
The 10-year lithium battery smoke detectors run for about $30, but it's a price worth paying to save lives. Also, some fire department programs can set people up with one for free.
"You can call Monroe Fire and we will come to your residence, free of charge, and install some smoke detectors," Hill said.
When it comes to heat equipment like space heaters, Hill says it's common to see people pull the space heater up closer to the bed to stay warm. However, make sure to keep a three foot clearance around any space heater.
"Any combustible materials -- curtain, towels, bedspreads, anything that can burn -- needs to be at least three feet from heat source," Hill said.
And never leave candles unattended or fall asleep with one still burning -- 25 percent of fire fatalities come from a candle that was burning in a bedroom.
"Kids and candles don't mix," Hill said, adding that children should never be allowed to play with matches, lighters, or any fire.
Should a fire break out in your home, Hill said it's good to keep a fire extinguisher on hand -- but even better to have an escape plan, one that should be discussed and practiced beforehand.
"That plan should include at least two ways out, and account for everyone getting out," he said. "And you don't go back in. Personal possessions -- just don't go back in."
With the escape plan, designate a place for everyone to meet and stay at so people are accounted for.
- Don't overload electrical circuits and inspect electrical cords.
- With heat units that burn fossil fuels, have the area ventilated properly.
- Monitor you cooking.
- Keep matches and lighters out of reach from children -- teach them that fire is not a toy.
- Test your smoke alarms.
- Blow out candles when you leave the room or go to sleep -- keep them at least one foot away from anything that can burn.
- Keep fire in the fireplace. Use fire screens and have your chimney cleaned annually. The creosote buildup can ignite a chimney fire that could easily spread.