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Fires cause an estimated 3,500 deaths and nearly $4 billion in property damage in the United States. By taking a few precautions, you can prevent your home and family from a devastating blaze.

Home Heater Safety

  • Keep flammables, such as drapes and furniture, away from space and portable heaters.
  • Hire a certified chimney sweep to regularly clean and inspect the chimney.
  • Inspect heating equipment regularly for proper design, installation and operation.
  • Follow manufacturer instructions when installing and filling liquid and gas-fueled heaters.
  • Never leave auxiliary heating equipment unattended.

Electrical plug safety

  • Don’t overload wall outlets.
  • Don’t use fuses rated too high for your home’s circuits.
  • Don’t use frayed electric cords.
  • Don’t run extension cords under rugs or furniture.

Cooking safety

  • Keep the stove clean and free of grease.
  • Keep the handles of pots and pans turned inwards.
  • Keep flammable material (including shirt sleeves) away from burners.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher rated for grease fires nearby.
  • Never store flammable liquids in the kitchen.
  • Never leave cooking unattended.

Since most fires start between midnight and 4 a.m., the key to survival is being awake and alert. Working smoke detectors save crucial time in responding to a blaze and also saves lives.

Smoke alarm safety

  • Install at least one smoke detector on each floor and one near each bedroom area.
  • Check detectors regularly to make sure they are working.
  • Change the batteries twice each year. An easy way to remember is to put in fresh batteries when you change the clocks in the spring and the fall.
Posted 1:55 PM

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