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Unprecedented number of fires in December, according to Indianapolis Fire Department

IFD stressing safety in your home
Posted at 8:02 AM, Dec 28, 2016

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Indianapolis Fire Department is asking you and your family to take steps to prevent fires in your home after an 'unprecedented' number of fires in December.

As of Wednesday, IFD responded to 57 fires and only seven of them were in homes that were vacant or unoccupied.

100 percent of the fires were preventable, so fire officials are once again stressing fire safety in your home and they are offering the following advice:

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Make sure your smoke detectors are in working order with at least one 10-year sealed battery smoke alarm on every level of your home. 

If you are using space heaters, remember:

  • Keep a clear 3-foot perimeter around the heater on all sides
  • Remove combustibles including clothing, bedding, furniture and curtains away from all heat sources
  • Only use a UL approved space heater with automatic shut off and non-frayed cord
  • Plug the heater directly into a wall outlet. Do not use a power strip or extension cord
  • Never leave the space heater unattended when in use
  • Keep pets and children away from the heater as it can cause serious injury

Do not use candles to heat your home and when you do use them, never leave a candle unattended.

Never use generators, propane heaters or outdoor heaters inside a home.

If you are using a wood burning fireplace, make sure all the embers are extinguished prior to going to bed.  Check that the chimney flue is open before starting a fire and have a protective screen in place to keep embers in.

Do not use your stove or oven to heat a room.  Appliances aren't intended to be used as heat sources and can be deadly when used improperly.

Do not leave food unattended and cooking on the stove, especially grease.  Grease should always be heated slowly with an extinguishment method such as a lid nearby.

Be vigilant about your neighborhood and call 911 to report unusual or suspicious activity in and around vacant or abandonded structures.