(WXIA) -- Early Friday morning, a Fulton County family evacuated its home and lost a good chunk of the first floor all because of what fire officials say could have easily been prevented.
"Fires are the single most common disaster here in the United States, far outstripping floods, far outstripping tornadoes," said Ruben Brown of Atlanta Red Cross. "Every two and a half house, someone dies of a home fire, and that number is preventable."
And heating fires are a leading cause.
"We don't want you using an oven to heat your home," Fulton County Fire Department Chief Darnell Fullum said. "Those items are not meant for long-term heating."
So what can you do now? Get your heating system tested, make sure you have fully charged smoke detectors on each level of your home and if you don't, your local fire department will help you out.
"We'll actually knock on doors, and if you don't have a smoke detector, we'll offer to give you one and install it," Fullum said.
Fulton County is one of six local fire departments we found who give free smoke detectors to those who stop by.
The phone number for the Red Cross is here: you can call the Red Cross, and they will send a volunteer to speak at your place of worship, community center, school; go to RedCross.org or call 404-870-4418, Option #1.