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Bring on the fun, sun of spring, not flames, smoke of accidental fires

CHEYENNE MOUNTAIN AIR FORCE STATION, Colo. -- Warm spring weather entices people to fire up the grill or get started on the spring cleaning list, but no longer needing to use the fireplace doesn't mean the risk of house fires goes away.

Improper use of grills or unsafe storage of flammable items increases the likelihood of accidental fires. Fortunately, the proper use and storage of these objects greatly reduces that likelihood.

Cheyenne Mountain AFS fire prevention office provides the following safety tips so your spring will be full of all the great things warm weather brings, instead of damaging flames and smoke:

- Clean garage of stored newspapers or other materials that can fuel a fire. Newspapers stored in a damp, warm place may ignite spontaneously.

- Test smoke alarms monthly.

- To prevent nuisance alarms, gently vacuum smoke alarms every six months or as needed.

- Change batteries in smoke alarms, flashlights and carbon monoxide detectors.

- Never borrow smoke alarm batteries to use for toys or other equipment.

- Replace all smoke alarms every 10 years or as recommended by the manufacturer.

- Check electrical fuse boxes and make sure the proper fuses are inserted.

- Keep outdoor debris or dead vegetation away from homes.

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

- If you store gasoline, keep it outside your home in a shed or detached garage. Keep only small quantities in tightly sealed containers. Use gasoline only as a motor fuel - never as a cleaning agent.

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

- Use outdoor barbecue grills with caution. Place them in a safe area away from buildings, windows and heating, ventilation and air conditioning units, or places with high or dead vegetation.

- Never use gasoline to start a fire, and don't add charcoal lighter fluid once the fire has started.

- Use barbecue grills outside only - not under overhangs or balconies, and keep away from combustibles.

- Check propane grill hoses for leaks and cracks; never store propane indoors.

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

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