Last weekend’s fires have one thing in common

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INDIANAPOLIS — Firefighters battled three fatal fires and a handful of other serious blazes over the weekend in wet, frozen gear and bitter cold temperatures.

Lt. Bonnie Hensley with the Indianapolis Fire Department said, ” You are the expert on your own home.”

And there are several steps you can take to try to protect your home and family from fire.

Make a plan. Know two ways out of every room and have a meeting place. Firefighters spent a lot of time searching for unaccounted people in two of the weekend fires.

Never use appliances to heat your home. That’s what happened in one of the fires.

Never leave food unattended. The death of a woman in the Groff Avenue fire is a tragic reminder of how quickly a grease fire can escalate.

Don’t disrupt a scene. The fire at 30th and Clifton is a prime example. Firefighters were scrambling to lay hoses and drivers drove right over their supply lines.

Check smoke detectors. Not one of the fire locations had working smoke detectors.

“Have smoke detectors on every living level of your home,” said Hensley. “An extra one in the basement wouldn’t hurt either, but at least on every level where people congregate.”

If you don’t’ have a working smoke detector or batteries, IFD can provide you with some.

After you’ve escaped, don’t go back inside for any reason.

If you use a space heater, make sure there is a 3-foot perimeter.

Keep your dryer, furnace, water heater and fireplace serviced.

Lastly, if you think your child is smoking, address it now. Trying to hide a discarded cigarette can be deadly.