WACO, Texas — The winter season is coming and nationwide firefighters say they see more house fires these first few months than in the rest of the year.
This is a problem all across America, and also in the city of Waco.
"This time of year, we're really rushing," Keith Guillory with the Waco Fire Department said. "We're doing holiday shopping, we're visiting relatives, moving around a lot, sometimes we just forget to cut off the stove."
An increase in home cooking for the holidays is just one of the many reasons a fire can break out this time of year.
Many people also put out more candles during winter, which doesn't always pair well with holiday decorations.
"People leave them unattended where kids knock them over, pets knock them over," Guillory said. "Also just leaving the home or having them too close to combustibles such as curtains, holiday decorations, Christmas trees."
It is recommended to keep your candles a few feet away from anything flammable and always blow them out when you leave the room.
The National Fire Protection Association predicts firefighters respond to an average of 7,400 home fires started by candles each year during the start of winter.
"Just really slow down and pay attention to what we're doing this time of year," Guillory said. "I know we're all really busy, but just slow down and make sure you cut off the food before you leave home. Make sure you cut off the space heaters before you leave home. Make sure you leave those three-foot safety perimeters around candles and around space heaters."
Guillory also said it's important to have working smoke alarms in your home.
"That's your first line of defense against the fire," Guillory said. "That notification, as well as making sure you have an evacuation drill. Make sure individuals in your home know two ways out of each room. Make sure those smoke alarms are in each room and the hallways."
Waco FD gives out smoke detectors to people who need them in the area.