Winter weather warnings to avoid fires

NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (KNOP) - With the weather getting colder as we head into winter, the fire marshal has a few reminders for folks to keep them safe from fires.

George Lewis, The Fire Marshal for North Platte City, said there are a few things to keep in mind this time of year when people are trying to heat or decorate their homes.

He said to make sure before starting up the fire place for the first time of the season, to have it professionally cleaned out, check to make sure all fire alarms are in working order with fresh batteries and to make sure any seasonal lawn decorations are properly plugged in.

"Make sure that the extension cords, they are rated for exterior use, same way with your lawn decoration, they should be rated for outdoor use and just don't overload an extension cord, if there's one item that's supposed to be plugged into it, then that's what you do," said Lewis.

When using supplemental heat, like a space heater, Lewis said, "Make sure you’re in the room when you’re using them and when you go to leave, you shut them off and even unplug them and always plug them directly into an outlet don’t use extension cords."

He said the reason for that is, "They draw a lot of electricity and if you ever, from time to time, feel that cord from the electrical space heater they get hot and you always want to stretch out the cord don’t leave it coiled up."

He adds that each home should have a smoke detector per level of the home, by the sleeping areas and in rooms that are slept in.