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To provide fire suppression and other emergency services to the Greater Marion Community, and to develop the best trained fire service in Smyth County.
With cold weather still hanging on, here are some tips to avoid a costly and possibly deadly fire in your home:
· If you haven't already done so, change the batteries in your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors.
· If you use wood, oil or gas for heating or have gas appliances, install at least one carbon monoxide monitor.
· If you have smoke detectors that are older than 10 years, consider replacing them with new ones.
· Wired-in smoke detectors with battery back-up should be tested to make sure all detectors in the house alarm simultaneously.
· If you notice abnormal "flickering" of lights or appliances that do not work properly or that work intermittently, have your electrical panel checked by an electrician. Small problems such as loose connections on breakers and busbars can often be fixed very inexpensively, but if left unchecked can lead to major problems and possibly a fire.
· Never store flammable liquids near heat sources. Vapors can travel along the floor and seek out an ignition source leading up to an explosion.
· If you use kerosene heaters, never leave them unattended when lit. Use only clear K-1 kerosene; keep kerosene in an approved container (usually blue in color and marked specifically for kerosene storage), store safely away from the heater and other heat sources, and never refill a heater while it is hot. Allow it to cool down before refilling and lighting it. Refilling should not take place inside a house due to the danger of spilling fuel.
· Wood stoves and fireplaces present their own special set of hazards. Chimneys and stove pipes should be thoroughly inspected by a certified chimney sweep in advance of using them for the winter, and any problems should be repaired prior to using them. Birds and other animals often build nests in chimneys during the summer and these can present problems if not checked for and removed prior to using stoves and fireplaces. Burn only well seasoned dry wood to prevent a heavy creosote build-up in your chimney. Chimneys and stove pipes should be inspected several times during the burning season to ensure they are clear of build-up.
· Portable electric heaters account for nearly 90% of all home fires in the U.S. Never leave a portable electric heater unattended, especially if you have small children or pets in the house. Make sure they are kept at least 3 feet away from blankets, curtains, furnishings and other combustible materials. Several models are equipped with safety shut-offs in case they are tipped over. Never bypass safety features on these heaters.
· Baseboard electric heaters can come on at any time due to the fact that most thermostats only have a low setting and can only be truly "off" by removing power to the circuit at the breaker panel. As with portable electric heaters, keep blankets, furnishings and other combustibles a safe distance away.
· If the power goes out, candles should never be used for lighting. Have plenty of flashlights and extra batteries on hand in cases of prolonged outages. New LED technology allows for brighter light and much longer battery life than conventional flashlights and are much safer than candles or lanterns.
Consider purchasing a battery operated radio if you do not already have one, and have a fresh supply of batteries. Tune in to local media to stay informed about impending weather, schedule changes, and school closings.
Visit our neighboring department’s websites:
Links to other fire related websites:
Marion Volunteer Fire Department