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8 steps to keep your home safe from fire

Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station, Colo. -- Spring is arriving soon, while creating your spring cleaning to-do list, remember to take actions to keep your home safe from the threat of fire. The Cheyenne Mountain AFS Fire Prevention office would like to offer the following fire safety tips:

1. Clean out your garage! Get rid of stored newspapers or other rubbish that can fuel a fire. Newspapers stored in a damp, warm place may ignite spontaneously.

2. Properly dispose of oily or greasy rags. If these items must be stored, they should be kept in a labeled, sealed, metal container.

3. Store gasoline away from your home, ideally in a shed or detached garage. Keep only small quantities in tightly sealed containers. Remember, gasoline should only be used as a motor fuel, never as a cleaning agent.

4. Always store paint and other flammable liquids in their original, labeled containers with tight-fitting lids. Store them at least 18 inches from appliances, heaters, pilot lights and other sources of heat or flame.

5. Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in reported home fires in half so test your smoke alarms monthly by pushing the test button.
-- Replace batteries at least once a year in smoke alarms, flashlights and carbon monoxide detectors.
-- Replace all smoke alarms every 10 years or as recommended by the manufacturer

6. The leading cause of home clothes dryer fires is failure to clean them. Clean the lint filter before or after each load of laundry.
-- Remove lint that has collected around the drum.
-- Keep the area around your dryer clear of things that can burn, like boxes, cleaning supplies, and clothing.

7. Most cooking fires in the home involve the stovetop so keep anything that can catch fire (i.e., oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels, etc.) away from your stovetop.

-- Always stay in the kitchen when cooking on the stovetop.
-- According to NFPA, extension cord fires outnumbered other fires beginning with permanent or detachable power cords by two to one. Remember extension cords are intended for temporary use.
-- Check electrical cords for damage and make sure they are not running across doorways or under carpets.
-- Have a qualified electrician add more receptacle outlets to eliminate the need for extension cords.

8. Use outdoor barbecue grills with caution. Place in a safe area away from building, windows, heating, ventilation and air conditioning units or places with high/dead vegetation.
-- Never use gasoline to start the fire, and don't add charcoal lighter fluid once the fire has started.
-- Check your propane barbecue grill hose for leaks and cracks; never store propane indoors.
-- Keep outdoor debris or dead vegetation away from the house.

If you have any questions or would like clarification on any fire safety tips please call the Cheyenne Mountain AFS Fire Prevention office at 719- 474-3355.

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