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When you change the clocks in fall and spring, it’s a perfect time to attend to a few fire safety tasks.

Test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors, both of which should be placed on all levels of your home and in sleeping areas.

Have an escape plan. Keep doorways and windows clear of furniture. Practice home fire drills at different times of the day, making sure you have at least two ways out and an outside meeting place a safe distance away.  

Keep kitchens in mind. Most house fires are caused by cooking. Tips to stay safe in the kitchen:

  • Never leave something unattended on the stove or in the oven. 
  • Roll up long sleeves and pull back long hair when cooking. 
  • Keep a fire extinguisher at hand.
  • Never throw water on a grease fire — use a large pot or lid to smother it.
    • If it gets out of control, leave the house and call 911. 

Clean out the lint filter in the dryer after every load. Don’t forget to clean the outside vent, too. Make sure it isn’t blocked and critters can’t get in.  

Extinguish any lit candles before leaving home or going to bed. Burning candles should be on a stable surface with at least 12 inches of empty space around them. 

Keep lighters, matches and burning candles out of reach of children. 

Local fire departments often have events during October, such as smoke detector giveaways, to raise fire safety awareness, so check with yours. With fire, as with so many things, prevention is the best defense. 

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