LAMAR COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - With more than a half dozen fires in a small area of the Pine Belt and one being fatal, fire officials are urging residents to take proper precautions.
"With the temperatures dropping over the next few days you just need to be sure you use an appropriate heating techniques, that you are not trying to heat your apartment of home with a stove, open flames, candles, be careful of those things like that," said Northeast Lamar Volunteer Fire Chief Kyle Hill.
According to the U.S. Fire Administration over 900 people die in winter house fires each year, some of which are linked back to improper heating methods.
"Indoor heaters make sure that they are functioning properly, that the safety devices and the switches work when it tips over that the device shuts off," said Jones County Fire Coordinator Dan McKenna.
One of the biggest asset, a smoke detector, can save a life.
"Alerting yourselves to a fire, you know smoke detectors are a cheap insurance policy, but they also have to be maintained," said McKenna.
When fire departments respond to a scene, every minute matters and can mean the difference in life or death.
"Try to do what you can to stay warm, but do so in a safe manor," said Hill.
Lamar county fire officials also urge families to have an escape plan in the event of a fire.