Fire Chief Joel Gray says it’s happening way too much.
"It is more likely that we will have fires in the winter months than any other time," Gray said.
Homes…gone…in the blink of an eye, often times from human error.
Since the year began, 41NBC has reported fires, sometimes fatal, in Monroe, Houston, Bibb, and Laurens County.
"It’s important leading into the cold months to kind of have a concept of what do I have to heat the house with. What do I have, or do I need to update what needs to be changed out," Gray said.
He says many times residents can avoid these fires.
As temperatures begin to plummet, people use heating appliances throughout the house, sometimes too close to items that can catch fire.
– When using space heaters, keep them away from items that can catch fire such as clothing, drapes, and bed skirts.
– Never warm up your house using an oven.
– Always make sure your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are working.
"It’s not a good practice because it can be a hot door that’s partially open. It can be a hazard to you, a small child, or a pet," Gray said in reference to using ovens to heat up the home.
He adds not paying attention while cooking is also a big cause of fires.
"We have so many more distractions in our life now that we put something on to cook, and we get distracted by a cell phone call, an email, and that slips our mind," Gray said.
He says the key to fire prevention comes down to being aware, being responsible, and being alert and at the end of the day, if a fire does happen, get out of the house because no material possession is worth your life.