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Spring clean-start fresh, stay safe

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Good housekeeping and fire prevention go hand-in-hand, and the arrival of spring is a good time to clean out all the clutter that's built up over the winter - unless you're trying out for season six of Hoarders.

Cleaning out unneeded, excess and waste materials not only reduces fire loading in the home, but also makes the home a more attractive and comfortable place to live. Check your closets, attic and garage for cast-off articles that could easily burn, such as drapes, clothing, broken furniture, rugs, etc. Don't let your home become a fire trap by discarding trash and unwanted items before it's too late. Some of your items may even be useful to local charities.

Check the list below for additional helpful housekeeping hints:

o Smoke detector batteries should be checked and replaced if necessary.
o Smoke detector units should be cleared of dust. Vacuum or use canned air.
o Fire extinguishers should be checked, and recharged if necessary.
o Check extension cords for damage (pets get bored being locked up all winter), and replace if necessary.
o Electric outlets and extension cords should not be overloaded.
o Air conditioning units should be inspected and serviced as necessary.
o Barbeque gas grills (including gas hoses) and propane tanks should be inspected prior to use. Remove excess grease buildup from the unit to prevent flare ups. An orange flame is an indication that there is an obstruction in the gas tubes that lead to the burners. Flame should be blue in color.
o Don't burn yard waste or trash. This is very dangerous and normally illegal in city limits.
o Windows should be checked to make sure they open and close properly, in case they are needed as exits.
o Review your family's fire escape plan.
o Fuels for lawn and garden equipment should be stored in an approved container and only in quantities absolutely necessary
o Pesticides and chemicals should be stored in an approved container and away from children.
o Hot tub chemicals should be stored according to manufacturer guidelines.
o Oil based paints and solvents should be stored in a metal cabinet

By following these simple guidelines, you can reduce your fire risk and make your home a safer place to live. For additional information regarding fire safety, contact Burke Ferrin, 21st Fire Prevention office, at 556-6574.

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