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Fire Prevention This Winter

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If you haven't had your furnace inspected in the past year, you might be living with a fire hazard in your own home.

"We've already had some cold weather and the furnace has been running I'm sure," said Michael Top, Sioux Falls Assistant Fire Marshal.

Winter weather is just getting started.

"And we're coming up to the holiday season, so we're going to see a lot more cooking, baking," said Top.

But if people aren't careful, holiday cooking and indoor heating can be a recipe for a fire.

"Loss of your entire home, loss of all your property, and then the most detrimental would be the loss of a life," said Top.

Top says it's easy to avoid any kind of fire.

"If you're getting those annual inspections by a qualified person to make sure that your equipment is running the way it should run, it should really take care of a lot of things that we see," said Top.

"Keep the area around the furnace and the water heater clean, keep it unobstructed," said Bob Kriese, Waterbury Heating & Cooling Service Manager.

Kriese says he often sees fire hazards around heating devices when he inspects homes.

"Storing flammables around the furnace, water heater, clothes piled up," said Kriese.

It's not just furnaces and water heaters that people need to keep an eye on.

"We're going to start seeing more space heaters being used. So we want to make sure you keep a 3 ft. radius around that heater," said Top.

Top also says now would be a good time to test those smoke alarms.

"A good working smoke alarm, good working carbon monoxide alarms installed in the home," said Top.

Precautions everyone should take this winter to avoid suffering a serious loss.

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