The winter months bring an increased number of fire hazards.  Warrensburg Fire and Emergency Prevention Officer Jeremy VanWey says colder weather means space heaters, furnaces and sometimes candles are put to use.   He says to keep furnace maintenence up to date and keep combustible materials away from space heaters and candles. 

Click to hear KMZU’s Chelsea Wade discuss additional safety tips with Jeremy VanWey.

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The Warrensburg Fire Department issues the following press release with additional fire safety suggestions:

Warrensburg –  As we approach the holiday season, the Warrensburg Fire Department would like to take the time to remind everyone of some fire prevention tips. According to the United States Fire Administration, each year fires occur during the holiday season that claim the lives of over 400 Americans, injure 1650 more and cause over $990 million in damage. “We should encourage and practice fire safety continuously, but we must be especially vigilant with the additional hazards presented around the holiday season” states Jeremy VanWey, Fire and Emergency Prevention Officer. The following are some basic holiday tips.
To prevent Christmas tree fires, first, select a fresh tree if using a real tree. Take care of your tree by keeping water in a base that will support it, keep away from heat sources like fireplaces and heat vents, do not smoke or keep ashtrays near trees, and do not leave up longer than two weeks. When done with it, be sure to dispose of your tree properly.
Never burn in a fireplace or wood burning stove.
When installing holiday lights, be sure to inspect them for frayed wires, bare spots, broken sockets and excessive wear before putting them up. Do not overload electrical outlets. Check them periodically as they should not be warm to the touch. Do not leave holiday lights on unattended. When decorating, use only nonflammable decorations
Be very cautious using candles this holiday season. We should avoid using lit candles. However, if you do use them, ensure that they are in stable holders and located so that they cannot be easily knocked over. Never leave the house with candles burning. Never use lit candles on or near a tree. Also never put wrapping paper in a fireplace or wood burning stove. This could result in a chimney fire.
Finally, as with all seasons, make sure smoke alarms are installed properly in your home and are working properly. Test them monthly, keep them clean and make sure they have fresh batteries. Know when and how to call for help and remember to practice your home escape plan. If you would like more information contact the Fire and Emergency Prevention office at 660-262-4654 or go to http://www.usfa.fema.gov/.