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Our Opinion: Fire safety - A gift of immense value

Our Opinion: Fire safety - A gift of immense value

December 19th, 2013 in News

Recent emergency calls serve as a grim reminder of the potential damage and danger posed by residential fires.

Although the causes of some recent fires remain undetermined, any number of winter activities can trigger a residential fire.

When cold weather comes: furnaces and space heaters are turned on; fireplaces and wood stoves are lit; holiday cooking and baking increases; Christmas trees decorated with lights may dry out; candles are lit for ambiance.

The Jefferson City Fire Department advises people to have furnaces serviced and checked for proper venting to prevent carbon monoxide leaks. Space heaters should be UL listed and situated away from combustibles.

When burning wood, the department recommends:

• Have flues cleaned and checked.

• Be sure stoves are installed according to manufacturer's specifications and local building codes.

• Notify your insurance agent to ensure policy covers wood appliance installation.

• Burn only seasoned wood.

• Do not burn trash or wrapping paper in wood stoves or fireplaces.

• Do not vent a solid fuel appliance into gas vent.

• Allow a stove to heat the flue before closing air vents.

• Deposit ashes in metal cans only and store in safe place.

• Do not use flammable liquids to start fires.

Operational smoke alarms and CO detectors are vital warning systems. If smoke, heat or carbon monoxide are present, these alerts provide time to flee danger and summon firefighters.

During this holiday season, give yourself and your family the gift of fire safety.