Avoid Tragedy By Making Home Fire Safe

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The last day of Fire Prevention Week is tomorrow, Oct. 15. It is not too late to do your part to prevent fires in the coming months.

The Payson Fire Department has been promoting the safe use of candles for Fire Prevention Week. There are other steps to take to stay fire-free during colder weather.

Make arrangements to have your heating system checked before the cold weather arrives. If you have a fireplace or wood-burning stove, make sure your chimney is clean and all parts are in working order. The same goes for furnace systems. Replace filters; clean out accumulated dust and cobwebs. Make sure the vents are clean and sound as well.

If you use space heaters, make sure they are in good working order and place them on a hard surface, away from drapes, bedding and other materials that can catch fire easily.

A clean, efficient system will save you money in the coming months. To further reduce your heating expenses, check your windows and doors for drafts. Remember to turn down the heat at night. Stay warm with another blanket or quilt on the bed.

Check your smoke detectors. Replace the batteries and run the operational test. Go a step further and see if the sound of the alarm reaches every room in your house. Make a plan for getting out of your house in the event of a fire.

The vent of your dryer and the coils of your refrigerator and freezer should also be checked. Make sure they are clean in order to reduce the risk of a fire starting.

Check the outside of your home for vegetation that might reduce the amount of sunlight you receive inside. The sun's warmth is an inexpensive and welcome way to fend off the cold.

But your firewood should be a safe distance from your home and other structures on your property.

Make sure the ashes you remove from your fireplace are cold. Don't discard them in cardboard boxes or other flammable containers. Dispose of them in metal cans. Keep the cans away from combustible material.

Common sense and simple steps are among the best ways to prevent fires in the home during cold weather.

For more information about fire safety in the home, contact the Payson Fire Department at (928) 474-5242, ext. 3.

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