Firefighters worry about increased house fires - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Firefighters worry about increased house fires

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ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

95 people have died in Georgia fires already this year. significantly higher than this same time in recent years. And the peak season for home fires hasn't started yet.

Just Tuesday afternoon two fires in Albany displaced more than a dozen people. Luckily no one was injured, but firefighters worry the number of fires will increase soon, and that could mean more fire deaths.

One East Albany apartment fire displaced eight families. Luckily it did not hurt or kill anyone.

95 people have died in Georgia fires so far this year, and "fire season" has not even started yet.
 
American Red Cross Flint River Chapter Executive Director Lara Gill said "It's called 'fire season,' and we're on the way in. To see so many fires this year early on, when it's warm outside is a little disconcerting for us."

Fire season is when the temperatures drop, and historically when the number of fire deaths go up.

Albany Fire Chief James Carswell said "We know that across the state, people start firing off their space heaters, their fire places, those kind of things. Unfortunately fire deaths increase."

Another issue that leads to an increased number of fires is the holidays.

People typically cook more at this time of year, and that increases kitchen fires. Firefighters are asking people to carefully monitor their cooking, which causes a majority of South Georgia fires. They also ask people to use space heaters with caution.

Gill said "Please make sure they are not next to a sofa or to curtains, or to anything that's flammable. And keep your children and your pets away from them. Anything could knock one over; make sure you turn it off when you leave your home."

Firefighters want people to think about fire safety. And say home construction made a difference in Tuesday's fires. The older East Albany apartment building, with no fire walls in the attic, burned eight units. Another fire in a newer apartment on McClain Lane was stopped by its fire wall, and no other homes were affected.

Carswell said "When people are looking for a safety perspective, those things are important when you are selecting a place to live. So it's always a question I ask. It's one of those that very well can save your life."

Experts want people to think about their safety and fires in their homes, as that could
help prevent more fire deaths in Georgia.
 
Most fire deaths happen when people are asleep. Experts recommend that everyone has working smoke detectors with fresh batteries in them for fire protection. Firefighter also remind users that space heaters are not meant to run non-stop. They need to cool down or they could fail and spark a fire.

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