February is American Heart Month.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says cardio vascular disease is the leading cause of death in the US.

Approximately 100 fire fighters die in the line of duty each year and heart attacks account for 45 percent of all work-related deaths among fire fighters. The risk of a fire fighter having a heart attack is even greater when fighting a fire.

Fire fighters also are much more likely to have a heart attack on duty than any other public safety occupation.

Risk factors that increase your chances of having a heart attack include smoking, hypertension and high cholesterol.

If these statistics aren’t enough, think about this.

Fire fighters are up to 14 times more likely to suffer a heart attack when responding to an alarm than they are when performing some other non-emergency duty.

You can help reduce your risks factors by getting enough exercise, controlling your blood pressure and cholesterol and not smoking.

Visit the IAFF Fit to Survive web page for expert advice and practical information on staying fit and healthy including nutrition tips, healthy recipes, information on controlling your blood pressure and information on smoking cessation.