Fire departments across the nation are spending the next few days helping to spread a message we all must be mindful of, not just this time of year but every single day.
Today marks the beginning of National Fire Prevention Week, where the focus is on educating people on the importance of fire safety in the home and at work.
In West Virginia, this year's theme is "It's Fire Prevention Week. Have Two Ways Out!" It focuses on the importance of having home escape plans, in particular on having plans with two or more escape routes from the building in the event of a fire.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, more than 369,500 home fires were reported in the United States in 2010.
Fire departments in the Ohio Valley and elsewhere, as well as the state Fire Marshal's Office are spending this week, and many other days in October, reaching out into their communities to spread their life-saving messages, and we hope our residents take time to listen.
The Weirton Fire Department, for example, is spending several days this month visiting schools in the community to discuss fire safety with students.
The demonstrations will vary depending on the students' age, but will include everything from discussions on "Stop, drop and roll," to creating an escape plan in your home, the importance of having several working smoke detectors in the home or office, and even the use of the department's fire safety trailer, which often makes appearances at community events.
Some of the best advice anyone will hear during this time is information which has been around for years. Never leave any kind of fire unattended in the home, whether it be a heater, candle or a pan on the stove.
The best tool against house fires is to educate ourselves on the dangers and how they can be prevented.
It just might save someone's life.