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(MCT)—During winter months, fire risks are on the upswing as people make use of their fireplaces to keep warm.

“Families need to take the proper precautions to prevent potentially dangerous fire situations,” says John Viniello, president of the National Fire Sprinkler Association. “We believe that if everyone takes a few moments to review fire safety techniques and protocols with their loved ones, lives will be saved and potential tragedies avoided.”

The organization has issued a list of fire safety tips to keep people safe throughout the winter.

Keep a watchful eye on space heaters, and make sure there is at least three feet of clear space around them when in operation. Do not leave a space heater on unattended.

• Keep flammable liquids free from heating sources, and store them in a cool location. Also, keep them separate from other stored items such as paper products and cloth materials.

• Check to make sure smoke detectors are working properly.

• Keep an up-to-date list of emergency fire, police, and medical phone numbers near your telephone.

• Develop an escape plan with your family from multiple rooms within your home, both upstairs and downstairs. Take time to review the escape plan with your family, including a practice fire drill.

For more information, visit www.nfsa.org.

©2012 the Santa Cruz Sentinel (Scotts Valley, Calif.)
Distributed by MCT Information Services.

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