Firefighters say about 84% of all civilian fire deaths occurred in a residence, and when it comes to protecting your family and home there's more you can do than just the standard check on your smoke alarms.
"It's a good idea for a young family with small children to have a fire drill and practice escaping from each room," said Lt. Craig Berend, WFFD. "Have a route, have a meeting place outside, know where you're going and what to do just in case something were to happen," he added.
Once outside, call 911 immediately. However, there are things you can do to help prevent flames from sparking in the first place. Lt. Berend says never leave food on the stove unattended, and smokers should light up outside. Firefighters say cigarettes, cigars and pipes are to blame for the majority of house fires that occur. It's also important to have a fire extinguisher that is easy to access.
"A 2 lb or 5lb ABC extinguisher will probably be appropriate. The instructions for an extinguisher are right on the side of the container they're pretty simple to use, we use the acronym pass- pull, aim, squeeze and sweep," said Lt. Berend.
Even if you think the fire extinguisher, or other means may put out the flames, firefighters still want to hear from you.
"Call 911 and get the fire department to check it out even if you think you got the fire extinguished, we need to take a look at it just to make sure," said Lt. Berend.
Lt. Berend says you should have several smoke alarms in your home and change the batteries twice a year. It's recommended you do that when the time changes.