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Redwood Falls Gazette
  • Fire safety must be a focus for the season

  • “A big thing this time of year is making sure your Christmas tree is watered,” said Matt Grave, Redwood Falls Fire Department chief, adding that means keeping a constant watch to ensure it doesn’t get dry.
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  • The holiday season is a time when distractions can become just that, and as a result tragedies can occur.
    Whether it is ensuring the Christmas tree one puts up in their home is safe or if candles should or should not be used, local fire officials encourage the public to be smart and safe this season.
    “A big thing this time of year is making sure your Christmas tree is watered,” said Matt Grave, Redwood Falls Fire Department chief, adding that means keeping a constant watch to ensure it doesn’t get dry.
    Grave said another big issue this time of year is candles, and according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), there are an estimated 23,000 fires in residences across the United States each year which are caused by a candle – leading to more than 160 fatalities annually.
    Grave said to use candles sparingly, adding flameless candles can be an option.
    “If you must use real candles make sure you put them out before you leave,” he said.
    Some other things Grave suggested as the winter months continue are:
    • To avoid placing wrapping paper in your fireplace, as that can plug up the chimney causing a fire hazard. Grave also said ashes should be cleaned up and put outside to cool off to ensure they do not catch fire.
    • Carbon monoxide poisoning is an issue each winter, said Grave. He added it is important for people with furnaces to ensure the furnace vents are not getting plugged up.
    Grave also asked the public to be sure the fire hydrants in their neighborhood are clear of snow, because that can definitely help in the long run if there is a call to the area.

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