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Simple tips can save lives

Every year, as the temperatures start to dip below freezing, people crank up the heat in their homes in order to stay warm.

Inevitably, this results in an increase of house fires, as we have already seen this week.

Nearly a dozen Ironton residents were displaced from two homes that burned this week, at least one of those fires resulting from faulty wiring. Neither home had working smoke detectors.

Although the Ohio State Fire Marshal’s Office will determine the official causes of the fires, the accidents bring to mind how dangerous it can be to ignore basic safety when heating your home.

Here are a few reminders from the Ohio Committee for Severe Weather Awareness:

• Do not over load outlets. This can lead to electrical fires.

• Always use a screen in front of the fireplace. Also consider using a fire-resistant carpet or mat (made for fireplaces) on the floor in front of the fireplace.

• Never leave kerosene or other supplemental heating devices unattended.

• Check your smoke detectors monthly. Install smoke detectors on each level of your home and sleeping areas. Sleep with your bedroom door closed.

• Do not use your stove or oven to heat your house.

• Install a carbon monoxide detector if you have any appliance or device that has a flame – stove, water heater, furnace, fireplace, space heater, etc.