WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) — A recent study ranks West Virginia in the top 10 of all 50 states for fatal house fires.

In a recent study that analyzed data from the U.S. Fire Administration West Virginia ranked 6th in the nation for fire fatalities.  

The study reveals that for every 1,000 fires in the state, there are 13.2 casualties.

Assistant Fire Chief of the Wheeling Fire Department, Deric Jamison says there are some steps you can take to prevent a fatal fire. As cooler temperatures become more evident many people will begin using supplemental heating such as space heaters. Jamison says if you use a space heater it needs to have at least 3 feet of clearance around it.

He also shared some other reasons that the numbers in the state are as high as they are. 

”Being a rural area, our response times are longer. We have a higher-than-average elderly population. The very young, the very old are our most vulnerable. And smoke detectors, we need to do a better job making sure our homes have working smoke detectors in them.”

Asst. Chief Deric Jamison – Wheeling Fire Department

Jamison says that you are twice as likely to survive a house fire if you have working smoke detectors in your home. 

Jamison also said that common sense goes a long way in preventing house fires and for more fire safety tips you can visit nfpa.org.