CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — The Champaign Fire Department is celebrating the 100th anniversary of Fire Prevention Week and they want people to check their smoke alarms and practice their fire escape plan.

“While the number of building fires is going down, the number of fire deaths is going up. Because people aren’t maintaining their smoke alarms,” said Champaign Fire Department Deputy Marshal Jeremy Mitchell. People aren’t maintaining the awareness.”

This week, awareness is the goal.

He said the main mistake people make in fire emergencies is not having an escape route. Mitchell said fires progress much more quickly than they used to. People used to have five to 10 minutes to get out of a burning house; now it’s down to two minutes.

The National Fire Protection Association started Fire Prevention Week as way to remember the Great Chicago Fire. Now the week is used to educate people on proper fire safety and preparation.

Mitchell encourages people to test their smoke alarms and go over escape plans.

“Knowing two ways out. Knowing your way around where you live,” Mitchell said. “Because we find that people are creatures of habit. So if a fire alarm goes off in your building or smoke detector goes off in your home, you’re probably going to leave the same way you came in.”

“So most of the time, that’s fine, but should it be blocked by smoke or fire, you need another way out, you need to think about that,” Mitchell added.

He said that as temperatures drop, the number of fires is expected to rise. He said people should be mindful of both built-in and portable heaters.

The Champaign Fire Department will host a fire safety educational event on Saturday and next Friday at Market Place mall as part of Fire Prevention Week. Those events will go from noon to 5 p.m.