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    Prevention First: Keep Fires from Starting

    There are many situations that make a fire more likely to start. Being aware of these hazards will help you and your family prevent fires within your home.

    Cigarettes and other smoking materials

    Cigarettes not only do damage to your lungs but they are also a fire hazard within the home. Cigarettes can cause materials such as paper and couches to catch fire, which can lead to a serious fire. If there are smokers in your home, remind them to put out all cigarettes in large, metal containers and to run water over the cigarettes before throwing them away.

    Lighters and matches

    Lighters and matches are very powerful tools and can be very dangerous if they are not used properly, by an adult. Lighters and matches should be kept out of sight and out of reach from children in a locked cabinet. Kids, if you see a lighter or matches, remember to tell an adult and not to touch them.

    Candles

    Candles can be beautiful decorations, but only when used the right way. Candles should never be left burning when people aren't in the room and they should always be kept out of reach from young children. Candles should only be placed in the middle of an uncluttered piece of furniture, like a tabletop, to avoid being knocked over by a person or a pet.

    Heat appliances

    Appliances that give off heat, such as space heaters, curling irons and coffee pots, should always be unplugged when not in use. Extra caution should be taken when using portable space heaters. Space heaters should be turned off when you go to sleep or leave the room. They should also always be kept at ground level, at least three-feet away from things that can burn like walls, bedding or clothes and out of the traffic flow of people or pets.

    Fireplaces

    Many families use fireplaces in the winter to keep their homes warm. Following these few tips will help to keep your family safe this winter:

    • Keep fireplace fires small.
    • Place a screen in front of the fireplace to prevent flying sparks.
    • Never burn paper or trash in a fireplace.
    • Allow ashes to cool before you throw them away.
    • When removing ashes, keep them in a metal container instead of a box or bag.

    Source: National Fire Protection Association

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