MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – October is National Fire Prevention Month across the country, so many local departments are taking extra initiative to show how fires can be prevented.

Statistics show that about 40 percent of house fires start in the kitchen of a home, where gas is often used to cook. We learned Tuesday morning how dangers kitchen fires can be and what we should do if it ever happens in our home.

One of the biggest things is to have a working smoke detector in your home to alert you when there is smoke or a fire inside. Experts say those should be checked at least once a year.

It’s also important to develop an escape route if your home ever does start on fire. Fire officials say a majority of families don’t have a plan in place if a fire was to happen in the home. It’s no different than putting a plan in place and practicing a fire drill, much like we did in elementary school.

Fire officials said there should always be at least two ways out of a room in the event of a fire. Those are usually a doorway and a window. Smoke tends to stay in the upper portions of a bedroom, so it’s important if a fire happens while you’re sleeping to roll out of bed and stay as close to the floor as possible.

Then, it’s important to find the nearest point of exit from a room and get out as fast and safely as possible. If you’re in a second floor bedroom and can’t get out the doorway, hardware stores sell escape ladders that can be installed near windows to be used as escape routes.