An alarming number of people are dying in house fires across the country.
Fire officials say the spike over the last few weeks is unacceptable.
The message firefighters want to get across is, no one should ever have to die in a house fire.
The month of February has proven to be a deadly one.
Nearly 60 people in the U.S. have perished in house fires in 17 different states.
Authorities say most of those deaths could have been prevented.
Fire officials say there are a number of steps people can take to protect themselves.
*Check smoke and carbon monoxide alarms to be sure they are working properly.
*Have an escape plan with a meeting place.
*Once you exit your home, DO NOT return. Too many people lose their lives going back into a burning home.
*Stoves are not made for heating homes.
*Supplemental heating devices should be used and maintained in accordance with manufacturer recommendations. Keep combustibles clear. Do not leave supplemental heating devices unattended.
*If you are burning wood in your fireplace, make sure your chimneys are properly maintained. That goes for your furnace, as well.
*If candles are necessary, use them in a safe environment in a fireproof container and away from children. Do not leave them unattended.
*And for the long term, consider getting a residential fire sprinkler. According to statistics, the risk of death by fire is reduced by 82 percent when smoke detectors are accompanied with residential fire sprinklers.
Authorities say these are things people already know but a friendly reminder can go a long way into saving lives.