NEW MIDDLETOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Fire Prevention week happens each year during the week of October 9. It commemorates the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.

Fire Departments across the nation take this time to educate kids and adults about the importance of fire safety, how to prevent fires and what to do if you are in a life-threatening situation.

We know it’s important to check your smoke detectors and change the batteries but there’s another thing to look out for.

“Make sure your smoke detector is up to date. If it’s 10 years old or older, replace it,” said New Middletown Fire Chief Lee Ingold, ” Smoke detectors save lives.”

There are many ways that fires can start inside a house and can happen at any time. Ingold says it’s best to be prepared.

“You should have in your home a fire extinguisher to help you, but if the fire starts to get a little out of control, the best thing to do is call 911,” he said.

Having a plan in place in the event of a fire will keep everyone safe.

“Practice your drills. Make sure you have a place to go once you get outside of the house. Make sure 911 is called,” said Bill O’Hara, fire prevention officer for the Poland Fire Department.

Ingold said everyone should know where to meet up outside if there is a fire.

“They run out and meet at this tree or meet at the car or the neighbor’s front porch,” he said.

Fire safety plans and other resources can be found and downloaded at nfpa.org.

Teaching younger generations about fire safety may prevent accidents from happening. The New Middletown Fire Department will host a fire prevention event Saturday, October 8 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the station located at 10711 Main Street, New Middletown.