Arapahoe County, Colorado -- Imagine being fast asleep, and then waking up to the sound of your fire alarm.

Your home is filling with toxic smoke. Where do you go? What do you do?

This happened to an Arapahoe County family early Tuesday morning – and luckily, they’re ok.
The fire broke out in their basement just before 2 a.m.

Eric Hurst with South Metro Fire Rescue says the situation that could have ended very differently if that family wasn't alerted by their smoke detector.

"The family woke up because they had working smoke alarms," he said. "That's the biggest piece of surviving a residential fire is to be alerted to it in the first place."

When crews arrived at the home, there was a fire burning in the basement and smoke coming from the front of the home.

"Smoke doesn't make any noise as it starts to travel through a house so it's easy for people to succumb to smoke inhalation if they don't have an alarm to wake them up," Hurst said.

Hurst says your family can stay prepared by have working smoke detectors and making sure your bedroom doors are closed at night.

"That prevents the spread of smoke, the spread of heat, the spread of fire from getting into their living area or sleeping area when maybe a smoke detector hasn't gone off fast enough or hasn't
Hurst says to always have two exit plans.

"They should have an idea in their mind, where they're going to go as a plan B and have some place established outside where the family knows where they're going to go meet and keep accountability on each other," Hurst said.

These are all tips we hear every year but Hurst wants to know, is your family really ready?

"When they go to bed tonight do they feel comfortable knowing if they smoke alarm is going to wake them up or not," he asked.

Tuesday morning’s fire is still under investigation.

Hurst says nationally, the highest volume of fires happens during the winter months from November until March.

He says most are related to cooking or heating.

He recommends changing your smoke detectors batteries twice a year.