LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) -- According to the National Institutes of Standards and Technology around 40 years ago when a fire alarm went off you would have around 17-30 minutes to safely get outside, today you only have around three minutes.
"You had more natural Fabrics like wool and cotton and wooden frames in the modern based living room [today] you have more petroleum based products," said Damon Robbins, Fire Inspector.
Oscar Ortega lives with his wife and four children next to a home that caught on fire back in August.
"it's very serious if you want to keep your life, it's something that shouldn't be overlooked but definitely taking precautions for," he said.
He said he has smoke detectors and leaves the children's door open at night so that they'll hear him if something happens.
Robbins said he see's an increase in fires during colder temperatures because people are spending more time inside.
"Winter is coming and people generally spend more time in their homes with candles, fireplaces, and they're cooking," he said.
According to the Bureau of Fire Prevention in Lincoln last year there were 547 fires, 72 were from cooking incidents, 68 were caused by smoking materials, and 56 were electrical.
But sometimes the cause of fires isn't as obvious.
"It doesn't have to be a candle it doesn't have to be an extension cord it can be a plugged in hair roller or hair straightener if it's plugged in and you have a Kleenex box or maybe a box of cotton balls too close to it over time that can reach it's ignition temperature and you can have a fire," said Robbins.