How to keep your home safe from a fire

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska - In this week's 'Health Report' we took a look at some preventive measures you can take to keep you and your home safe from a fire. October 7 through the 13 is National Fire Prevention Week.
"Look. Listen. Learn. Be aware. Fire can happen anywhere," that is the national slogan that is being used to raise awareness and reduce the number of fires and casualties. David Townsend with the Steese Fire Department spoke about how we should implement the slogan.

"We talk about looking for hazards. You want to identify and mitigate fire hazards in the home. Your source of heat, just cleaning it, that's mitigating the possibly of chimney fires. Electrical outlets, frayed wires, listen for the smoke alarm. You could only have minutes from when you can get out safely. Know two ways out that goes into the learn portion," he said.

In 2017, there were 799 residential structure fires reported in the state of Alaska, resulting in 18 deaths and numerous civilian and firefighter injuries, according to Department of Public Safety. Townsend spoke about how some basic maintenance can help save your home and possibly your life.

"So one thing that we highly recommend, especially for wood stoves, is getting your chimney serviced every year, making sure it's clean, those preventative measures even for Toyo stoves and boilers, just making sure they're all serviced, that way when it starts getting cold and you start firing them up they're clean and in working condition," he said.

Townsend says having a functioning smoke detector and carbon monoxide monitor is very important. Everyone should have one in every room, on every level of your home and test them regularly to make sure that they are working properly.