BOILING SPRINGS, S.C. (WSPA) – The South Carolina state fire marshal reports there have been 75 fire fatalities in 2022. 

Fire departments are busiest in the colder months and as that time of year is approaching here in the Upstate, local firefighters said house fires are getting more dangerous and more common.

“You’ve got less time to get out of your own homes nowadays than you did say 20 years ago,” said Captain Steve Quinn, Belmont Fire Department.

Captain Quinn said the difference today is the materials being used in construction.

“The materials burn a lot hotter, all the new insulation and the foam boards that they use instead of using actual wood, the OSB plywood, it just burns a whole lot hotter and a whole lot quicker,” said Captain Quinn.

According to Captain Quinn, the top three causes of a fire are food left unattended in the kitchen, misuse of heating sources and electrical malfunctions.

The Boiling Springs Fire Department in Spartanburg County said they see this happen often this time of year and regardless of how a home is heated, residents should be proactive.

“This time of year people of course are trying to stay warm and stuff,” said Nick Bailey, Boiling Springs Fire Department. “The biggest thing for heating sources is when you’re dealing with space heaters and stuff make sure you unplug them, don’t leave them running while there’s nobody there to attend to them. And another big thing is to make sure your smoke detectors work properly.”

Fire officials said that 3 out of 5 home fire deaths result from smoke detectors not working so testing yours once a month should be a part of your routine.