From the Desk of Sheriff Chris Clinton:
With cooler weather often comes increased risk of accidental house fires due to heating. Fire safety is an important issue that I have mentioned in the past and this seems to be an appropriate time to remind everyone to be safe when it comes to fire.
The sad fact is that many Towns County families have lost loved ones due to house fires. This type of tragedy occurs far too often. There are some things that you can do to help keep yourself, and your family, safer.
The following are some basic tips on fire safety that are being offered in the spirit of helping you and your family remain safe:
1) Install and maintain smoke detectors. Smoke detectors can save your life, but only if they are in good working order. Maintain and test smoke detectors regularly, and never remove the batteries for other uses.
2) If a smoke detector goes off while you are sleeping, remember to roll to the floor and crawl. Do not stand up, as smoke may have already filled the upper part of the room, from the ceiling down. If you encounter smoke remember, the best air will be closest to the floor.
3) Be careful to give heaters and fireplaces plenty of space. Placing combustible material close to a heat source can cause it to ignite and start a fire.
4) Your family should have an escape plan in place, in case of a fire. You should practice this plan with your family so that everyone is familiar with it. A good plan should include two escape routes from any room in the home. You should designate a place to meet outside. Once out of the fire, stay out.
5) “Stop, Drop, and Roll!” By now, most of you have heard of this. If your clothing catches fire, stop, drop to the ground, and roll. This is the best way to smother the flames. It is a good idea to cover your face with your hands to protect your face and lungs from smoke and flames.
6) Candles and cooking often cause house fires. Be careful with any heat source. Never allow combustible materials to get too close to heat or flame. Always monitor any open flame and do not allow candles or other flames to go unattended.
These are just basic tips. They are not meant to take the place of diligent planning on your part. They are offered as possible safety tips to help protect your family, and encourage you to have a proper fire safety plan.
If you need help forming a plan, your Sheriff’s Office will be glad to assist you in doing so to help keep your family safe throughout the year.