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The number of house fires increases as the weather gets colder but there are ways to prevent them

People are trying to heat their homes with things like space heaters, but there are many tips to avoid falling victim to a house fire.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — We've already seen several deadly house fires in the Tennessee Valley this year and the colder weather brings a greater risk, but there are some tips that you can follow in order to prevent a house fire. 

"Well, for the last five years in the state of Alabama we've averaged about 90 fatality fires. So, we wanna get the message out, especially during the cold weather when our number of fires seem to increase," said Dan Wilkerson, Fire Marshal for the City of Huntsville. 

That message is one of safety. Heating equipment is one of the leading causes of home fire deaths and knowing how to properly use your heating appliances can prevent a fire from starting in your home.

RELATED: Space heaters can be super helpful during the winter, but also super dangerous

"Space heaters shouldn't be used around kids or pets. So, if you're using them in your home, make sure there's [a] three-foot distance away from it. Make sure you do a walk through your house to make sure it's safe, but most importantly, over half these fires that have fatalities, they did not have a working smoke detector. So, we wanna encourage people not only to ensure that you have smoke detectors but put your finger on them and test them every 30 days because a lot of these fires happen in the middle of the night when you're asleep, and that smoke detector is your only defense to help you get out of that fire alive," said Wilkerson. 

RELATED: Check your smoke detectors

Cooking with caution is a good idea as well, just staying in the kitchen while you cook can prevent a fire and save your life.

"Our leading cause of fires are cooking fires, most of those are caused with cooking with grease, always stay where you're at when you're cooking. We say keep an eye on what you fry because those grease fires happen pretty quickly so try not to overheat your grease and stay with it while you're cooking," said Wilkerson. 

Be sure to check out your outlets, wires and extension cords and if any of them are damaged, it's best to replace or repair them right away.

RELATED: Huntsville apartment fire injures at least 3, displaces 3 families