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Q: What are some fire safety tips?

Posted February 13, 2013 in Advice Column, Greene County

A: As many of you know by now, we had a close call on Jan. 20 when a fire claimed the business next door. We will never be able to fully thank the firefighters who braved 30-foot flames and frigid temperatures to save our buildings. In light of these events we felt it was appropriate to remind everyone of these fire safety tips:

• Every home should have a working smoke alarm. Install smoke alarms on every level of your home. Test monthly and replace batteries once a year. Smoke alarms themselves should be replaced after 10 years.

• Prevent electrical fires. Never overload circuits or extension cords. Do not place cords and wires under rugs, over nails or in high traffic areas.

• Use appliances wisely. Overheating, unusual smells, and sparks are all signs that appliances need to be shut off, replaced or repaired. Unplug appliances when not using. Use safety caps to cover outlets.

• Alternate heaters. Portable heaters need space. Keep anything combustible at least three feet away. Keep fire in the fireplace. Use fire screens and have your chimney cleaned annually.

• Plan your escape. Practice an escape plan from every room in the house. Caution everyone to stay low to the floor. Never open doors that are hot. Select a location where everyone can meet after escaping the house.

• Caring for children. Children are naturally curious about fire. Many play with matches and lighters. Eliminate the mystery by teaching children that fire is a tool, not a toy.

Information provided by Jefferson Family Chiropractic, 216 N. Wilson Ave., 515-386-3747.

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