Tips to prevent house fires even as temperatures drop

Published: Oct. 7, 2021 at 7:30 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - As the calendar flips to October many Northern Nevadans think that signals the end of fire season.

Not true.

Fire season is year-round. This week is Fire Prevention Week. KOLO 8 News Now stopped by the Reno Fire Department to see what can be done to prevent fires this time of year. Smoke detectors are a big talking point. Believe it or not the beeps you hear could save your life.

Willie Seirer with the Reno Fire Department Fire Prevention Division breaks down what each sound means.

“If you hear three long beeps that means that the detector has detected smoke and you need to evacuate the home,” he said. “If you get a single chirp every 30 to 60 seconds that means that the battery is low or dead and needs to be changed.”

Detectors should be changed every ten years. If you change the battery and the beeping continues the smoke detector is faulty and you’ll need to get a new one. Maintain your carbon monoxide detectors. Home improvement stores carry each and some even have devices that detect both.

Reno Fire gets calls year-round about fires that start in the kitchen.

“When you put food on the range or in the oven you should stay in the kitchen,” said Seirer. “If you have to leave turn the heat off and then leave.”

Keep everyday items away from surfaces hot to the touch. Just because an appliance is turned off doesn’t mean it isn’t a threat.

But not all fires start indoors. Blowing embers from wildfires can make your house go up in flames. Creating defensible space could make a huge difference.

“The big things to keep in mind around your home are keeping loose debris and dead plants and some live plants out from underneath the eave of your house,” Seirer said.

The national recommendation is to create a three to five foot perimeter of dirt or rocks around your home.

For more tips visit the National Fire Protection Association website.

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