JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – As we transition to a cooler season, some experts want to remind Mississippians to make sure they are preventing accidental fires while trying to stay warm outdoors.

In recognition of Fire Prevention Month, experts at ServiceMaster Restore shared some fire safety tips.

“I believe every month should be fire prevention month, and this time of the year as the weather is cooler, people are thinking to light those bonfires up,” said Peter Duncanson, senior director of Training and Development at ServiceMaster Restore.

Here are a couple of tips to keep you and your family safe:

  • Keep the fire pit or campfire away from structures, overhanging branches, and dry grass
  • Use a spark screen or cover to prevent sparks from escaping
  • Always supervise the fire, and never leave it unattended
  • Have a bucket of water or a hose nearby to extinguish the fire when you’re done

Duncanson said the winter months are when more accidental fires occur due to fireplaces, bonfires, heaters or holiday cooking.

“It’s an awareness just on keeping the communities safe and keep them educated. That’s why we advise to make sure that you check those batteries in smoke alarms now,” he said.

This year, Mississippi has been experiencing dry conditions due to an ongoing drought. A majority of the state is currently under a burn ban.

Since August 1, 2023, the Mississippi Forestry Commission (MFC) has responded to more than 1,030 fires, which have burned more than 16,000 acres.