Myrtle Beach Fire Battalion Chief Bruce Arnel says there are a number of things residents can do to prevent a fire their home.
-- Check smoke detectors monthly, and change batteries twice a year -- Have a fire extinguisher in your home, preferably not near the stove -- Do not leave grills or stoves running unattended, and do not use them as heaters -- Keep space heaters at least 3 feet from all walls, furniture and curtains -- Do not dispose of cigarettes in disposable cups or garbage cans; use metal or glass ash trays -- If a small fire does start, use a fire extinguisher or suffocate the flame with a kitchen pan lid
Arnel says proper fire prevention largely relies on common sense.
"It's frustrating for us when we respond to a fire that is preventable, and most fires are preventable," Arnel says.
He adds the majority of fire related deaths are a direct or indirect result of improperly disposed cigarettes or unattended grills or stoves.