Preventing House Fires

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The Dothan Fire Department is responding to more fires than usual this year, and it's not alone.

Nationally, the numbers of fires are increasing.

In 2004, fires killed an average of 11 people every day and this year, that number is steadily increasing.

There are some safety measures households can do to decrease their chances of becoming victims of fire.

According the National Fire Prevention Association, if the home has a working smoke detector, risk of dying in a home fire is cut nearly in half. Most fatal home fires happen at night while people are asleep and smoke detectors can give people enough warning to exit the home.

Dothan Asst. Fire Marshal Captain Chris Etheredge said, "Every home should have a smoke detector in every sleeping area and every level of the home."

There are several options residents can take to protect themselves and their property against fire. The dry climate increases the likelihood of fires and fire fighters encourage every household to install smoke detectors and have fire extinguishers available.

"Area fires have increased 103 percent and the nation they rise as building get older and you need to protect yourself by getting a smoke detector and fire extinguisher," said Captain Adrienne of Dothan Fire Department.

Fire extinguishers are easy to use and are relatively inexpensive.

"Just remember pass, you just pull the pin, aim, squeeze and sweep to extinguish the fire," said Captain Etheredge.

Fire fighters say it's important to stand back from the fire and work your way in to avoid being burned.

Fire fighters also encourage families to make evacuation plans.

All you have to do is plan your escape, practice the plan and always remember to get out fast and stay out. Never re-enter a burning building.

The Dothan Fire Department installs smoke detectors in homes free of charge and also will inspect your existing smoke detector.