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Alaska editorial: The other fire season

Posted: November 6, 2012 - 1:00am

This editorial first appeared in the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner:

The news pages have featured regular articles about house fires in recent weeks as the weather has cooled. While not all the blazes have been investigated conclusively, the extra demands placed on heating systems probably caused some of the fires.

The news reports should remind everyone to clean their chimneys, get their furnaces checked and peruse their premises for overloaded electric wires.

Fires can sprout in all sorts of odd and unexpected ways, but most problem areas can be spotted with a little advance work.

When was that chimney last swept? Did the mice, squirrels or insects get into the roof and deposit debris inside the stovepipe jack? Is the garage filling with fumes from gasoline used to clean snowmachine parts? Are there old, pinched or blanket-covered electrical cords attached to heaters?

These are just a few of the potential hazards. Each person should take a few moments to scrutinize their home or business with such possibilities in mind. It would be time well spent.

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