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Montana winter fire safety tips offered up

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Posted at 7:24 AM, Nov 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-01 09:26:04-04

HELENA - Many people will begin to decorate their homes as well as heat them as we step into the holiday season and the temperature drops.

The Helena Fire Department wants to remind the public to take certain precautions to keep themselves and their homes safe.

“We want to try to limit any bad thing happening to somebody. And bad things happen very quickly, something that may even be, oh it's never done this in the past, can quickly, you know, bite us and stuff. So, we have to just stay vigilant this season and practice these things so we can have a nice time with our families, have a nice safe winter season,” says Deputy Fire Marshal for the City of Helena, Kurt Sheehan.

Fire officials want to encourage people to keep any flammable materials and children at least three feet away from heating equipment as furnaces are fired up and fires are stoked.

This can not only include open fires but devices like space heaters.

Another tip is to keep your chimney clean which can be done by a professional chimney sweep. This can help keep harmful chemicals such as carbon monoxide out of your home.

It's also vitally important to have properly functioning and installed carbon monoxide detectors in your home as well.

As people begin decorating their homes for various holidays, it’s smart to be aware of your electricity usage.

Sheehan warns against unsafe socket use and says to have a professional come take a look if you have any doubts or questions.

“We don't want to overload any circuit, you know. People take an outlet that was meant to plug 2 things in and now we're plugging 30 things into it,” says Sheehan.

While there are plenty more suggestions on how to keep your home, self, and loved ones safe this upcoming winter season, overall Sheehan recommends using common sense.

“Overall basic fire safety, basic common sense,” says Sheehan.