Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA

Local News

November 17, 2011

Fire-safe holiday season tips from CFD

CENTERVILLE — The winter holidays are a time for families and friends to get together. But that also means a greater risk for fire.

The Centerville Fire department would like to offer a few simple tips to help ensure a happy and fire-safe holiday season. First choose decorations that are flame resistant or flame retardant, half of all home decoration fires are started by candles and are most likely to happen in the living room, family room or den. Always replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Connect no more than three strands of mini light sets and a maximum of 50 bulbs for screw-in bulbs. Always read and follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for light installation.

Test your smoke alarms regularly and tell guests about your home fire escape plan. Blow out candles when you leave the house or go to bed and keep children and pets away from lit candles. And it’s always a good idea to stay in the kitchen when cooking on the stovetop.

 If using a fresh tree as part of your holiday decorating make sure to keep the water in the stand well above the fresh cut bottom of the trunk. Christmas trees dry out with heat, so place your tree away from heat sources like the fire place or heater vents. The cooler the Christmas tree stays the better.

And finally the use of outdoor gas-fueled turkey fryers that immerse the turkey in hot oil have been the cause of many fires and injuries, these cookers are designed for outdoor use only and extra caution should be taken when cooking your holiday bird using this method.

The fire department hopes everyone has a safe and happy holiday season and as always we encourage everyone to check their smoke detectors to make sure they are working properly. The fire department has free smoke detectors available to the public and can provide installation if needed. If anyone has any questions regarding home fire safety or smoke detectors call the fire station at (641) 856-2314.

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The Iowegian wants readers to think about building code compliance. One Centerville resident at Monday's City Council meeting proposed the city create two new positions in the police department to only deal with minimum housing and nuisance abatement issues. The city currently has George Johnson as the only employee assigned to enforce building code compliance issues. Does Centerville need more than just Johnson to enforce code compliance issues? So, the question of the week is, "Should Centerville hire additional help to assist George Johnson enforce building code compliance issues?"

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