UTICA, N.Y. (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY) – For those who might have missed it yesterday, this week is ‘Fire Prevention Week’ across the country.

The theme for this year is “Fire Won’t Wait, Plan Your Escape” – further reinforcing the importance of a home escape plan in case of an emergency.

According to the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) data, about 74 percent of all U.S. fire deaths occur within the home, meaning that people are much more likely to die in a home fire today than they were in 1980.

“They’re not, maybe, as prevalent as they used to be, because of building codes, and changes in how we use electrical appliances, and things of that nature, but we still have a lot of fires that occur,” said Chief Scott Ingersoll of the Utica Fire Department.

But there are simple things you can do around your home that will prevent a fire emergency.

“We recommend that people have a smoke detector in each bedroom, and outside each bedroom as well,” said Ingersoll.

“We recommend that people, when they go to bed at night, that they close their bedroom door; That bedroom door is one of the single biggest things, besides a smoke detector, that you can do to increase your safety and survivability of making it through a fire.”

Other ways to reduce the risk of an emergency include changing your smoke alarm batteries when you change the clocks and making sure a carbon monoxide detector is installed in your home.

Also, make sure there are at least two ways out of every room, as well as practice escape drills with your family, and secure a meeting place outside of the home.

Chief Ingersoll says kitchen fires are the number one cause of structure fires in the city of Utica, meaning precautions must be taken.

“Always pay attention when you have something on the stove, don’t leave it unattended,” he said.

Finally, be sure to always have a lid nearby to prevent future emergencies.

Tomorrow, I’ll bring you some final tips in this series, as well as an inside look at with the students at Deerfield Elementary School learned about fire prevention this week.