Already nine people have been killed in fires in Georgia, Just two weeks into the New Year. House fires become more common when folks turn up the heat or turn on a space heater, and colder weather is on the way.
"Be aware that if you haven't used your heater in a while, since it has been warm these past few days that you will smell a slight burning smell is possible coming out of your heating unit. That's normal, but if it continues, you want to make sure to get that checked out," said AFD Inspector Laurence Cargile.
To help keep residents prepared and safe, Albany city and fire officials are hosting a fire training course for the public-- the first of its kind.
"Initially the fire safety course was something we did in house for the staff. And frankly, the department did such a good job that we decided to do it again and this time open it up to the public," said Albany Assistant City Manager Wes Smith.
The free, hour long course will discuss fire extinguishers and smoke detectors, among other prevention tips. "We wanted to do more of a broad range of fire safety pretty much for everyday life. So there's a lot of information that is presented that helps in the workplace as well as at home with your family," Cargile said.
Officials say it's important information that can help save a life. Authorities say in the first 11 days of 2013, nine people died in Georgia fires.
"It's definitely something that we have a continued battle with and that we need to stay on top of. And that's where prevention really helps so that people are actually aware of the things around them and the dangers," Cargile said.
Dangers that this training will address so residents can be proactive. The course will be offered three times next Tuesday and Wednesday as well as the following week at the government center. The times are: 10AM, 11AM, and 5:00PM each day.