SPRINGFIELD -- We're entering a time of year when the number of fires increases. The Springfield Fire Department is using Fire Prevention Week to remind people how to prepare for the worst.
The theme for 2012's Fire Prevention Week is "Have 2 Ways Out."
Coordinate two escape routes from your home, make sure everyone in the family knows the plan including where to meet outside.
The first line of defense to ensure you and your loved ones get out of a burning home: smoke detectors.
"It's not like in the movies. The firemen don't come rushing in wake you up and drag you out. If you don't have a smoke detector and you don't get out of the house earlier, it's probably not going to be a positive outcome," explained Cpt. Rosie Grier, of the Springfield Fire Department.
In fact, six people die every day in the United States from home fires, that's according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
The commission recommends homeowners install a device on every level and in every bedroom.
"The big difference that smoke alarms make is significant. Fatalities can be cut in half by consumers who install fire alarms in their house," said Inez Tenenbaum, the CPSC chairwoman.
As we approach the winter months, the number of fires usually escalates. Often, they're sparked by not using a space heater properly.
"Where we find lots of problems is people choose to plug them into an extension cord and drag them into another bedroom or down the hall. Those extension cords aren't meant to handle that kind of use," said Grier.
Grier said space heaters should be plugged directly into an outlet with nothing else plugged into it so the circuit won't overload.