(WWLP) – It’s Fire Prevention week, an annual campaign encouraging people to learn more about fire safety tips, in order to protect both their property and themselves.

This is the 100th year that the National Fire Protection Association’s fire prevention week has been observed. This year’s theme is “Fire won’t wait. Plan your escape.” According to the NFPA, today’s homes burn faster than ever, leaving very little time to react to a home fire and escape safely.

That’s why this campaign emphasizes the importance of having an escape plan, Children, older adults, and people with disabilities may need assistance to wake up and get out. Having a plan to help them ahead of an emergency is crucial. A properly-working smoke alarm is also an essential life-saving tool.

Fire Prevention Week comes as many home-owners brace for colder weather, and with the colder weather comes the use of heating systems and an uptick in fire hazards.

Megan Pike from the Northampton Fire Department offers advice, “Electrical cords; you don’t want to be running large appliances off of them, but also making sure that those cords are going to be in good condition. No rips, tears anything like that.”

And, be sure to check carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms.

“You just want to make sure those smoke detectors are photo-electric rather than ionization, which you can buy both at the store, but code does require the photoelectric,” added Pike.

Ionization alarms use radiation to detect smoke, while photoelectric alarms rely on light making them more effective in detecting life-threatening smoldering fires. Hardware store Foster Farrar has cleared its shelves of ionization smoke detectors.

Karel Rescia the Co-Owner of Foster Farrar told 22News, “There’s battery operated, there’s plug-ins and then there’s direct wire, we carry all of them.”

And in addition to making sure you have a properly working smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector in your home, you might also want to consider looking into other effective fire-prevention tools, such as a stove-top firestop.

Firefighter Pike has some advice on firestops as well, “The firestop goes right on the hood of your residential stovetops. It will activate and once it disperses, it will help put out a fire.”

The stove-top firestop works similarly to a fire-extinguisher which you should also have in your home. Remember, smoke alarms sense smoke well before you can. It’s recommended that a smoke alarm is in every bedroom, outside of the sleeping areas (like a hallway), and on each level (including the basement) of your home. For the best protection, use a combination of smoke and carbon monoxide alarms that are interconnected throughout the home.