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DeKalb Fire offers safety tips for winter storms

DeKALB – DeKalb County experienced another winter storm this week, and with more expected in 2020, the DeKalb Fire Department is sharing tips on how to keep your home safe during winter weather.

Parts of DeKalb County was blanketed Monday and early New Year’s Eve with light snowfall and high wind gusts, which led to icy roads. According to the National Weather Service, wind gusts ranged from 35 mph to 55 mph. Car crashes were reported across the county, with icy road conditions making Monday night and Tuesday morning’s commute hazardous.

Another side effect of the snowy season is something slightly less frigid: fire, according to a DeKalb Fire Department news release.

There are more home fires in winter than in any other season, according to a post on the DeKalb Fire Department’s Facebook page. Half of those fires happen because of residents trying to heat their home in December, January and February.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, nearly half of all space heater fires involve electric space heaters. If you must use an emergency heat source, keep anything that can burn at least 3 feet away from it, turn portable heaters off when you leave the room and before you go to bed at night.

Residents are encouraged to test all their smoke alarms at least once a month, and if they aren’t already, install carbon monoxide alarms also.

Plan two ways out of your home in case of an emergency, such as a fire, and be sure to clear your driveway and front walk of ice and snow to provide better access for first responders in the event they may need to enter your home.

Always make sure your house number can be seen from the street, the post reads, to better aid firefighters in finding your home.

Have a plan if the power goes out, including flashlights on hand, battery-powered lighting and fresh batteries. Never use candles, the post reads. If the heat stops working, wear extra layers, including gloves and blankets.

Residents are advised to remain up to date on weather reports locally and how much snow, wind or ice is expected – as well as to check on their neighbors. If a downed power line is spotted outside, stay away from it and report it to the department at 815-748-8460.

Source: The Daily Chronicle

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