SUDBURY -- Sudbury fire officials are noticing an alarming trend when it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"For the last 90 days that we've been specifically looking at, we've seen approximately 17 careless or accidental smoking type fires and that's concerning to us," said Greater Sudbury Fire Services Deputy Chief Jesse Oshell.

With so many people working from home over the past 90 days, it's a noticeable uptick for any city, including Sudbury.

"There are a lot of preventable fires that are occurring within our community," said Oshell.

"Our Chief Fire Prevention Officer and his staff are working very hard at making sure we're getting targeted messaging, targeted education out to the public."

Oshell says some of the examples they've noted include cooking, outdoor cooking, smoking and outdoor fires.

"We are going to continue to monitor our trends and build our programs of what we're seeing," he added.

According to the Office of the Ontario Fire Marshal, smoking is still the number one cause of fatal house fires in Ontario and alcohol is involved in many of those cases.

The Fire Marshal's office has reported 17 Ontarians died in fires this past March alone, a noticeable increase.

They add unattended cooking remains the number one cause of home fires.

Greater Sudbury certainly isn't the only city experiencing this uptick; it's something the insurance industry has also taken note of.

When it comes to fire, the Insurance Bureau of Canada says it's important to make sure you have the right coverage.

"You want to make sure that your insurance is up to date, you have a property insurance policy to protect your building, your home, if you're a homeowner and contents that are damaged by fire. Careless or any fire with the exception of arson is typically covered so that's not the issue but many times the issue is having the right coverage and enough coverage," said Pete Karageorgos, director of consumer relations.

Karageorgos adds it's always a good idea to sit down once a year, when you get your renewal, to review your coverage with the agent.

"Sometimes things may change and we may upsize or downsize and you want to make sure that your policy fully protects you in the event of fire," he added.