Winter, fire season both on horizon

Although our region might be in for a temperate break in the cool weather in the next few weeks, it seems pretty clear that winter is on the horizon.

With heaters of all types switching on, with more cooking at home taking place when the hard freeze arrives and with holiday lights just around the corner, fire season is also coming up and it is never too early to begin preparation.

The Minot Fire Department is urging residents to observe Fire Prevention Week by replacing batteries in smoke detectors and practicing their home fire escape plans.

A handful of other tips include:

– Check heaters and heater vents. The presence of dust and debris in vents is dangerous.

– Check the status of fire extinguishers

– If you use space heaters, check that they are clean, that cords are not frayed, that they are positioned safely and make sure the entire family knows their safe usage

– Whether for heaters, holiday lights or anything else, use high-end extension cords and power strips and make sure that all extension cords are fully extended prior to use. Keeping them bundled creates a distinct threat

As winter does arrive, you will want to repeat a safety checklist.

Home fires are a legitmate risk.

“Studies have shown that four out of five fire deaths in the United States happen at home,” City of Minot Fire Marshal Dean Lenertz said in a news release. “Fire Prevention Week is designed to create awareness about home fire safety and to remind residents that seemingly little things like making sure smoke alarms and fire extinguishers are in good working order can save your life.”

Taking adequate precautions this time of the year helps kick off a safe winter season. It’s a responsibility not to be neglected.