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Safety Tips

Smoke Detectors - Numerous types and styles of smoke detectors are available on the retail market. Some are simply battery powered, while others use the building's electrical power for main power and have a battery back up in the event of a power failure. An easy reminder to replace smoke detector batteries is to check them at the same time clocks are changed as a result of Day Light Savings. This will ensure that batteries are replaced at least twice a year and hopefully limit the chance of a battery failure. It also provides an opportunity to visually inspect the smoke detector for excessive dirt or dust build up. These types of problems can often cause a smoke detector to malfunction or not function at all in the case of a fire. Additionally, smoke detectors will give an occasional "chirp" sound when there is a low power sensed. Check the electrical connections and/or replace the battery immediately, regardless of the time of year, to prevent a smoke detector from failing to do its job. If the smoke detector continues to have problems, have it repaired or replaced by a qualified service technician immediately. Don't ignore your front line defense for signaling a potential emergency in your home!

Extension Cords - Minimize the use of temporary extension or "zip" cords. They are designed specifically for "temporary" use and not as a substitute for permanent wiring. When used for long continuous periods of time, extension cords have been known to overheat and fail. The end results are sometimes the origin of an electrical fire that can quickly spread. It is highly recommended that extension or "zip" cords be replaced with the use of surge protected power strips. Not only do these devices protect electrical appliances but they will "trip" themselves off when an electrical surge or overheat condition occurs.

Evacuation Plan - It is highly recommended that every household and business have a predetermined evacuation plan in the event of an emergency. Important points to include in the evacuation plan are routes of travel to exit the building with a back up plan should the first route be blocked. As well a single meeting point for occupants to rendezvous once outside so all can be accounted for. Take time as a family or group to identify all of these points and make sure everyone understands clearly what to do in the event of an emergency. Practice your evacuation plan and time it so you have an idea how long it should take for everyone to escape and meet at the rendezvous point.

Winter Driving Tips - The Fire Emergency Assistance Team (FEAT) has prepared a checklist for winter driving in the mountains. These items all come freom experienced local residents, and from analysis of accidents and search-and-rescue operations. It is recommended that you review this list and prepare your vehicles for winter weather in the mountains.

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