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Fire And Carbon Monoxide Safety Tips

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Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley's office has some suggestions to help keep your home safe when it comes to fire and carbon monoxide.

Here are some of the suggestions:

Heating Safety

·Keep anything that can burn at least three-feet away from heating equipment.

·Never use your oven to heat your home.

·Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.

·Test smoke alarms monthly.

Preventing Christmas Tree Fires Do not place your tree close to a heat source, including a fireplace or heat vent.

Do not put your live tree up too early or leave it up for longer than two weeks.

Keep the tree stand filled with water at all times.

When the tree becomes dry, discard it promptly. The best way to dispose of your tree is by taking it to a recycling center or having it hauled away by a community pick-up service.

Holiday Lights

Inspect holiday lights each year for frayed wires, bare spots, gaps in the insulation, broken or cracked sockets, and excessive kinking or wear before putting them up.

Do not leave holiday lights on unattended.

Holiday Decorations

All decorations should be nonflammable or flame-retardant and placed away from heat vents.

Never put wrapping paper in a fireplace.

If you are using a metallic or artificial tree, make sure it is flame retardant.

Candle Care Avoid using lit candles. If you do use them, make sure they are in stable holders and place them where they cannot be easily knocked down. Never leave the house with candles burning.

Smoke Alarms

·Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, including the basement. Many fatal fires begin late at night or in the early morning. For extra safety, install smoke alarms both inside and outside sleeping areas. Since smoke and many deadly gases rise, installing your smoke alarms at the proper level will provide you with the earliest warning possible. Always follow the manufacturer's installation instructions.

Protect Yourself and Your Family from CO Poisoning

Install at least one carbon monoxide alarm with an audible warning signal near the sleeping areas and outside individual bedrooms.

Never keep a car running in a garage. Even if the garage doors are open, normal circulation will not provide enough fresh air to reliably prevent a dangerous buildup of CO.

When purchasing an existing home, have a qualified technician evaluate the integrity of the heating and cooking systems, as well as the sealed spaces between the garage and house. The presence of a carbon monoxide alarm in your home can save your life in the event of CO buildup.

Escape Planning

·Draw a home escape plan and discuss it with everyone in your home.

Click here for a complete list of the governor's suggestions.

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