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Be aware of potential threats and hazards in our community

As the temperature drops, the number of residential fires goes up. The Santa Barbara County Fire Department wants you to have a worry free winter by taking the following precautions:

1. Before you use your heater for the first time this winter, have a qualified serviceman inspect your furnace and change the filter.

2. If you have a fireplace or wood burning stove in your home, make sure it’s clean and inspected by a qualified chimney sweep. Burn only dry, well-seasoned wood. Never burn trash in your fireplace, never use gasoline, charcoal lighter fluid or other fuel to light a fire. When using your fireplace, make sure the opening is covered with an approved metal screen or glass doors. Never leave a fire unattended.

3. When using space heaters, make sure there is a minimum of 36 inches of clearance on all sides of the heater.

4. If you burn candles, never leave them unattended. Avoid the use of candles in the bedroom where you may fall asleep. Always use a sturdy candle holder and keep candles at least 12 inches away from anything flammable.

5. Make sure there are operating smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors on each level of your home. Your family should have and practice a home fire escape plan.

With these helpful tips, the Santa Barbara County Fire Department hopes you will have a safe and worry free winter!

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