Caresse Jackman

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Video: Holiday Fire Safety Tips

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COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI)- House fires are a stern reminder of the importance of fire safety and education, especially during the holidays. So, it’s important to follow several steps to keep your family and possessions safe.

Anthony Colom with Columbus Fire & Rescue says it usually gets worse during this time of year because of the cold weather. He says before you go to bed, turn off your Christmas tree lights.

“You don’t want to leave Christmas trees on and go to sleep at night. So this time of year, fires get worse but we’re out doing alot of work, putting smoke alarms so we encourage everybody to have one.

A working smoke alarm could mean the difference between life and death.

“You need to have a working smoke alarm, 12 months out of the year, check your battery, test them once a month or every other month. Just stay on top of that.”

Fire officials say if you ever come across a grease fire in your kitchen, do not put water on it, instead, cover the pot with a lid and then immediately call authorities.”

“The fire flares up. We encourage people to try not to fight fires themselves. Call the fire department and just get out of the house.”

And if you use a heater, make sure it’s not touching anything.

“If you have a wall heater, get everything at least 6ft away from that wall heater. You don’t want any furniture or clothing close to those heaters because when it gets cold a lot of them come on by themselves, especially the older ones.

If you live in the city of Columbus and you own your own home, fire officials say anyone can get one free smoke alarm. If you rent, the owner of the property is responsible for putting it in so make sure that’s available to you.