HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - This week is Fire Prevention Week, and officials in the Pine Belt are urging people to have an emergency home escape plan.
Fire Marshal Stephen Mooney with the Hattiesburg Fire Department said residents should practice their home escape plan twice a year.
He said families should have a designated meeting area outside the home to ensure that everyone is safe.
Mooney said it's very important to have working smoke detectors on each level of your home, and know at least two ways out every room.
"Any smoke detector, no matter if it's a new style or an old style, if it's 10 years old, it needs to be replaced," Mooney explained.
Fire safety experts recommend checking your smoke alarms once a month.
Officials also warn of the dangers of electrical appliances.
"Keep your electrical appliances in good working conditions. Make sure that they are not damaged by furniture in the area around them," Mooney added.
Mooney said having home sprinkler systems will increase the amount of escape time and help suppress fires.
He urges residents to make sure their street address is visible for first responders.