A National Fire Safety Week campaign has been launched by Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy in Belfast.
The event, jointly run with the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service, was launched at the Central Fire Station in the city.
National Fire Safety Week is about enhancing fire safety, particularly in the home.
This year's theme is 'Safer Together' and asks members of communities to visit vulnerable relatives, neighbours and friends and ensure they are mindful of fire safety, have working smoke alarms and have an escape plan in the event of a fire.
On average, 32 people die in Ireland each year as a result of fire - with house fires accounting for the vast majority.
Both the very young and the elderly are particularly vulnerable, and these groups account for almost half of the domestic fatalities.
Most people who die in fires die from smoke inhalation and not from burns - this can take as little as three minutes.
Speaking at the event, Minister Murphy said: "This year's theme, 'Safer Together', is a welcome reminder that we all have a part to play to keep ourselves, and each other, safe from the dangers of fire.
"The campaign not only encourages people to have smoke alarms and test them but also for the wider community to look out for each other - especially those most vulnerable and at risk.
"This year’s theme asks that communities check in with vulnerable relatives, neighbours and friends and ensure they are mindful of fire safety, have working smoke alarms and have an escape plan in the event of a fire. We can all be 'safer together'."
National Fire Safety Week has its roots in the Great Chicago Fire, which occurred on October 8th 1871.
Former US President Calvin Coolidge proclaimed the first National Fire Prevention Week in 1925 in memory of those who died.
Since then, in early October, it has been observed each year in countries around the world.
A radio and TV advertisement campaign will also be rolled out as part of an intensive media advertising campaign, which will run throughout the winter months until spring.
More information can be found here