(WTVM) - 2013 is off to a fiery start in Georgia after nine people died in fires.
Fire officials say with colder weather approaching Georgia this week, people should be diligent about fire safety and having working smoke detectors.
State Fire Marshal Dwayne Garriss says about 100 people on average die each year in Georgia from fires. Last year, 72 people died in fires.
Officials say in many of the fires, smoke alarms had not been maintained.
Garriss says it's crucial that people make sure the devices have working batteries or are replaced with newer models if necessary.