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Fall means safety rules


A house fire at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and Poplar Street in Pine Bluff early Friday morning resulted in the death of a 30-year-old woman and a three-year-old child.

We won’t know until later how the fire started and the cause of their deaths.

Firemen know that each fall as the temperatures drop they can expect to answer more residential alarms as residents turn to fireplaces, space heaters and central heating units for warmth from the chilly air.

There are several fall safety rules you need to follow:

• Get in the habit of changing the batteries in your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors every fall and spring. Verify that fire extinguishers are fully charged and in working order.

• Make sure your heating devices and/or systems are in good working order before you experience the first cold snap. It’s a smart investment to have a central heating system cleaned, inspected and serviced by a professional.

• If you heat with natural gas, make sure that you have a sufficient number of carbon monoxide detectors in a residence.

• Space heaters should be surrounded by at least three feet of empty space. Turn the heaters off when you leave home or go to bed.

• Have your chimney inspected each fall to make sure that it is safe.

• Use only fire retardant holiday decorations. Verify that all holiday lights and extension cords have been tested by an organization like Underwriters Laboratory.

• Teach children how to respond in the event of a fire. That means developing a plan to leave a burning building and notifying 9-1-1 or fire personnel.

• Don’t re-enter a burning building to remove personal property. No property is worth a life.

There is nothing more important than the safety of your family. The rules are simple, but save lives.