URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) — While fires can happen fast, the Urbana Fire Marshal has some tips to hopefully prevent your home from catching fire.

He says to make sure you have space around any space heaters and never plug those into an extension cord. Also, check your chimney and make sure it’s clear. If your home ever catches fire, get yourself out first, leave the door open and don’t go back inside for any family pets.

“Your pets are pretty smart,” Michael Phillips, Urbana Fire Marshal, said. “They understand when there’s a problem or an emergency just as much as we do and they’re going to go into a panic state and try to find their way out of the building as well.”

He says if your pet is home and you’re not – you can trust the fire department. He says firefighters do everything they can to check the house for pets and people.