Winter is coming: smoke detectors can save lives

Winter is coming: smoke detectors can save lives

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - The city of Atlanta, Ga.'s freeze point is usually on November 13 every year, but Columbus, Ga. has also experienced cold weather on the same date as well.

March 4, 2013 was the coldest temperature Columbus had experienced at 29 degrees. The city and surrounding areas will experience the same cold temperature overnight on November 13, 2013.

The Columbus Fire Department's Chief Ricky Shore wanted to remind people of some safety tips they should practice in order to protect themselves from the cold.

Since heating equipment can be one of the leading causes of house fires in Georgia, Chief Shores said it is important to install smoke alarms in homes.

"It is important to check your smoke detectors," Chief Shores said. "People should check their detectors once a month and change their batteries once a year. If the unit is over 10 years old, the Fire Department recommends replacing them."

Chief Shores explained that fire detectors prevent fatal home fires and also save lives. A national report says 80 percent of child fire fatalities occur in homes without working smoke alarms.

"Naturally and nationally, fire stations see an increase in heating equipment-related fires," Chief Shores explained. "It is something that seems to happen every year."

Chief Shores said people need to refrain from using inappropriate items like ovens, microwaves to warm their houses when their heating equipment does not work. Many people fail to think about consequences that can occur when they use dangerous equipment instead of proper heaters.

"People need to keep items like clothing, bed linen or curtains away from heaters," Chief Shores warned. "Dress warmly and find safe ways to keep you and your family safe this season."

Winter is also known as the annual heart attack season. Many heart diseases, strokes and high blood pressure occur in many adults during cold season.

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