Chattanooga firefighters hope to sound the alarm that working smoke alarms save lives.

More than one million fires occur each year in the United States. It's why this Fire Prevention Week, officials are focusing on making sure the community checks their smoke alarms.

"Early notification is key, it's the most important thing we have to saving lives. Having a working smoke alarm in the home allows that notification to get out and stay out is the most important thing we can do," said Chattanooga Fire Marshal William Matlock.

The National Fire Protection Association said only a small number of people know how old their smoke alarms are, or how often they need to be replaced.

That’s why this year's Fire Prevention Week campaign is “Don't Wait – Check the Date!"

Fire Chief Matlock said during a fire every second counts.

"Roughly half of all home fire deaths result from fires reported at night between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m.,” Chief Matlock said.

The goal of the week is to make sure everyone understands the risks associated with fires. Firefighters will be out in the community and at schools promoting fire safety.

City Councilman Chip Henderson said initiatives like these make a difference.

“The Chattanooga Fire Department made an impact on my three year old grandson's life that day and I’m sure as well others,” Henderson explained.

The NFPA said some fires are easily prevented by having working smoke alarms in your home. The agency says smoke alarms should be replaced every 10 years, but many homes have expired smoke alarms

To kick off the week, firefighters paid tribute to firefighters that passed away over the last year so their sacrifices won't be forgotten.

Monday morning CFD laid a wreath to honor these retired firefighters that died in 2016:

  • Ret. Battalion Chief Vance Woodward
  • Ret. Chief George Spencer
  • Ret. Lt. Joe Hitchcock
  • Ret. Capt. Jack Babb
  • Ret. Capt. Danny Irvin
  • Ret. Lt. Alvin Shoemate
  • Ret. Capt. James Dodd
  • Ret. Capt. William Pippin

For more information about Fire Prevention Week visit their website.