Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS) is urging local householders to make home safety a top priority during 2014.
Kevin O’Neill, group commander, NIFRS, stressed the need for everyone to help protect themselves and their families from the dangers of fire.
Mr O’Neill said; “In 2013, tragically nine people lost their lives in accidental fires in the home. One death due to fire is one too many and we want to reach a stage where we have no fatalities in Northern Ireland due to accidental house fires.
“By routinely completing a number of simple fire safety steps, you can drastically reduce the risk of a fire in your home this year and beyond.
“Getting into the habit of checking your smoke alarms are working may just save your life. Every year Firefighters in Northern Ireland are called to fires in homes where smoke alarms are fitted, but are not working properly.
“Check they are working once a week by pressing the button. A working smoke alarm will provide you and your family with an early warning to fire in the house to give you the best possible chance of escape.
“If you have already planned an escape route and everyone knows what to do, escaping safely will be much easier.
“We offer a free home fire safety check, whereby local firefighters will visit your home to carry out a fire safety check. If necessary, we will fit a free smoke alarm.”