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Prevent fires during cold weather

South King Fire and Rescue has responded to two fires in the past week that are the result of heating devices — and caused hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage.

The majority of heating fire deaths are caused by space heaters, while most heating fires are caused by creosote build up in the chimney.

To keep safe, SKFR offers these tips:

• Space heaters need space. Keep all things that can burn, such as paper, bedding or furniture, at least 3 feet away from heating equipment. This includes baseboard heaters.

• Turn portable heaters off when you go to bed or leave the room.

• Plug power cords only into outlets with sufficient capacity and never into an extension cord.

• Inspect for cracked, frayed or broken plugs or loose connections. Replace before using.

• Have your chimney inspected each year and cleaned if necessary.

• Use a sturdy fireplace screen.

• Allow ashes to cool before disposing. Dispose of ashes in a metal container.

• Install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home. • Test smoke alarms once a month.

• Install and maintain a carbon monoxide alarm in a central location outside each sleeping area.

• Never use an oven to heat your home.

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