Winter fire safety tips for the home

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By Carol A. Clark

New Mexico's fire marshal is urging fire safety for this coming winter season because the high cost of home heating fuels and utilities have some consumers searching for alternate sources of home heating.

The popularity and use of wood burning stoves is growing and space heaters are selling rapidly, or coming out of storage and fireplaces are now burning wood and man made logs, said State Fire Marshal John Standefer in a new release.

All these methods of heating are acceptable, he said, adding that they are, however a major contributing factor in residential fires throughout the country.

In a recent talk at the Betty Ehardt Senior Center, Los Alamos Fire Marshal Mike Thompson explained the importance of keeping any combustible materials such as drapes, bedspreads and clothes at least three-feet away from portable heaters. “This time of year we also encourage residents to have their furnaces checked out by a professional,” he said.

Some furnaces develop cracks, which can lead to carbon monoxide inside the home, Thompson said, and suggested residents install carbon monoxide detectors, especially those with wood-burning stoves or furnaces.

Many residential fires can be prevented and Standefer recommends the following fire safety tips to help residents maintain a fire safe home this winter season:

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