House fires have claimed the lives of 89 Tennesseans so far this year.

That is 17 additional deaths than this time last year, according to the Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance (TDIC).

With winter just around the corner, TDIC wants to remind Tennesseans of fire safe behaviors.

  1. Keep items that can burn (like blankets and furniture) at least 3 feet away from heaters or wood stoves.
  2. If you use a wood stove for heat, make sure it is sturdy and properly venting.
  3. Practice a home fire escape plan with your family. Ensure everyone knows two ways out of each room.
  4. Never smoke in a home where medical oxygen is present.
  5. Have working smoke alarms and test them at least twice a year.

If you are in need of smoke alarms, many fire departments in Tennessee offer them free of charge.

TDIC encourages homeowners to call to see if their local fire department participates in the "Get Alarmed, Tennessee!" program.

To request a free smoke alarm, visit TDIC's website.