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Temps Dropping, House Fires an Increased Risk

By Daniel Cherry | Published 09 Oct 2012 05:22pm | comments
The temperature is starting to drop, making it one of the most dangerous times of the year for house fires. MPB's Daniel Cherry reports, fire safety officials are urging Mississippians to prepare an evacuation plan that could save lives.
 
Mississippi is among the most dangerous states in the nation when it comes to house fire fatalities. R.D. Simpson is Deputy Fire Chief with the Jackson Fire Department. As the temperature falls, Simpson warns residents to use caution as they find ways to keep warm. 
 
"If you're using space heaters as a heat source, be familiar with your space heaters. When operating your space heaters ensure that nothing is around that can contribute as a fuel for a fire."
 
Smoke detectors are one of the most effective life-saving tools during a fire, but they're only helpful when they work. Fire safety officials say one of the most common mistakes residents make is having dead batteries in their detectors. That's why Chad Langley, the owner of Batteries Plus in Flowood is giving out free 9 volt batteries to residents who need them.
 
"A lot of them are connected, and so if you don't change the batteries in all of them they're still going to beep at you. So it's important to change them all at one time. That way you know once one starts to go dead, it's time to change them all."
 
As residents turn on the heaters and light the fireplace, fire safety officials say now is the time for residents to make an evacuation plan. Chief Deputy State Fire Marshal, Ricky Davis says make sure the plan has two potential exits just in case.
 
"You need to always know the two ways out because the way you normally go out of your house may be blocked by fire so you may need to exit the window."
 
The State Fire Marshall's Office has investigated 42 fire deaths in the state already this year.

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