100 Alabamians die in house fires in 2016

ATHENS, Ala. - 100 Alabamians lost their lives to house fires this year.

"We push sprinkler systems in homes, and there's legislation coming up to help with that process," said Athens Fire Chief, Bryan Thorton.

Alabama has one of the highest rates of fire deaths in the country. Thorton said it's time that the state steps up to make sure all homes are equipped with sprinkler systems.
Even though fire departments across the state stress the importance of smoke detectors, many don't regularly check them.
"A good practice to get into is when the time changes to change your batteries," said Thorton.
As we see cold snaps throughout the Tennessee Valley, be careful when you crank up that space heater.
"Space heaters can get too close to stuff. They can get too close to bed linens, too close to clothes and stuff like that. And it will catch on fire," said Thorton.
Thorton said a lot of times people plug their space heaters into an extension cord. Sometimes those extension cords aren't rated to pull the amount of amps needed for the heater.
"If that happens that can cause a failure with the cords which can ignite a fire," said Thorton.