While much attention has been placed on the wildfires in the West recently, experts today warned that this summer there could be a grave danger right in your own neighborhood from barbecue grills, overloaded electrical cords and backyard fireworks.
Nationwide, home fires cause on average more than 2,500 deaths a year, according to the US Fire Administration as well as the National Fire Protection Association, and the rise in temperatures is raising a slew of new concerns.
"It's scary," said Captain Philip Hershey of the Los Angeles Fire Department. "As a captain, the last thing we want to be doing is pulling bodies out of these houses."
Los Angeles is responding to a record spike in fatal house fires this year with a door-to-door campaign looking for homes without smoke detectors.
Firefighters say that in seven of the nine fatal cases recently in Los Angeles, there was not a single functioning smoke detector inside the home.
In fact, according to the National Fire Protection Association, across the US, more than 5 million households don't have any smoke detectors.
Firefighters advised that in addition to a smoke detector on every floor, households with elderly relatives or children should also have a carefully rehearsed escape plan.