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Prevention best way to fight a fire
October 05, 2012 Jerry Purvis   

Read more by Jerry Purvis

Photo by Nathan Flowers Gering fire trucks arrive at the Cottonwood Fire near Harrison last June. The department assisted with many fires in the surrounding areas during wildfire season.

Fall, like any time of year, is a perfect time to check your house for potential fire hazards so a fire doesn’t happen to you.

Gering Fire Chief Jay Templar said that with the arrival of fall, more people are starting to use their fireplaces. “We’re fortunate to have had very few fireplace fires. People need to inspect their chimneys and clean them on a regular basis to remove the creosote that can catch fire.

He said people who do burn in fireplaces should use clean hardwood to minimize creosote buildup in the chimney.

Cooking fires are another hazard that can happen in homes. Whether you’re cooking outdoors or indoors, don’t leave a stove or grill or oven unattended. “We’re so mobile today, it’s easy to forget when we have something on the stove,” Templar said.

With the holidays approaching, candles become part of the decorations in many homes. Again, candles should never be left unattended or left burning after residents have gone to bed.

Another hazard associated with the holiday, but can happen at any time of year, is the misuse of extension cords for additional electrical outlets.

“We have far too many electrical devices in our homes today,” Templar said. “Older houses weren’t designed for that much electricity.”

He emphasized an extension cord is usable, but only on a temporary basis. They should never be used to provide addition outlets on a permanent basis.

Also, small appliances should be unplugged with not in use. Damaged cords can contribute to shorts that may cause fires.

The very worst fire plan is no plan. The next worse is two plans.
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