Fire safety in the deadliest season - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Fire safety in the deadliest season

Dubuque (KWWL) -- As the temperature drops, things heat up for area fire departments.  There have already been at least 13 fire-related deaths in Iowa this year.

"We had ten structure fires in December, and two so far this January, and we had not had that many fires in the last six months," Dubuque Fire Marshal Mark Ludescher said.

Ludescher says cold Iowa winters can result in unsafe practices -- using improper heaters and extension cords, smoking indoors, storing things too close to furnaces and water heaters, or starting out the season with run-down appliances.

"Make sure you have your current equipment inspected and cleaned. This needs to happen before the heating season starts. Many appliance dealers in town offer deals in late summer or early fall. Take advantage of them and get your stuff inspected," Ludescher said.

But, now isn't too late to think ahead for your family.

"October's fire prevention month's motto was have an escape plan, and practice it. That's huge, you've got to practice," Ludescher said.

Fire officials say that plan should include at least two ways out of every room: The way you came in and usually, a window. Also, have fire safety equipment in place, like a fire extinguisher in kitchens and laundry rooms. One of the least expensive and most life-saving practices is installing smoke detectors and testing them every week.

Online Reporter:  Jamie Grey

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