Fire statistics for the last few years have been compiled by the Louisiana State Fire Marshall's Office.

Chief Butch Browning says the number of fires deaths has decreased.

So far this year, there have been seventeen fatalities; by this time last year there had been 30 deaths and in 2017, there were twenty.

Browning says he thinks the numbers are reducing because people are understanding important things to remember when dealing with electricity and heating.

A few things to always keep in mind are the following:

Be mindful not to overload power strips.

Always plug high-wattage appliances and power strips directly into wall sockets.

Contact a licensed electrician to conduct any and all electrical work needed in your homes and businesses.

Only use extension cords on a temporary basis and refrain from connecting multiple cords.

Browning says, "Even one loss of life is one too many. But these statistics, so far this year, are very encouraging."

Even though it feels like Spring right now, the Chief reminds everyone that when the weather turns cold, you should always remember to play it safe around your fireplace and keep all space heaters at least three to five feet away from anything that can catch fire.

Browning says never use your oven or stove to heat your home.

He adds that every home needs to have a smoke alarm. They even have a program to help. You can visit to find out more.

Chief Browning says,

"I believe the decrease in fire fatalities are an indication that the various messages about fire safety, shared by our agency, and the local fire service, are effectively reaching communities, large and small, and that families are taking those safety suggestions seriously. We hope to see those life-saving efforts continue as the year progresses."