It’s still winter. It’s still cold. There’s still work to be done around the house.

You should always be thinking fire safety around the house, but maybe a little more at this time of year, because we have more appliances to plug in. Be ready to change the batteries in your smoke detector when you set your clocks ahead! Make sure your family has a well rehearsed fire escape plan as well.

Do a quick check around the house to make sure there are no flammable substances near your furnace that is working a little harder at this time of year.

Don’t put your space heater too close to your bed, curtains, or furniture. Shut them off when you’re not using them, and never leave them unattended. Do not use them to dry off wet clothing like mittens or hats.

If you have a chimney, make sure it totally clear so your fire can breathe. Do a quick visual inspection of the bricks on the outside to see that it is in good condition. Keep matches, lighters and candles away from children and pets.

While doing your outside inspection, look for bad windowsills, loose shingles and slanting concrete and check all the outdoor light fixtures..

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