TWIN TIERS (WENY) -- According to the United States Fire Administration, fires caused by cooking, open flames increase during the winter holidays. The Tioga County Public Health Department is urging residents to check their smoke alarms because properly installed and maintained smoke alarms play an important role in reducing injury and death from house fires.

For smoke alarms to be efficient, they need to be properly maintained, meaning checking that fire battery. Smoke alarms should be checked at least once a month by pressing the test button to make sure the alarm is working. 

Smoke Alarm Reminders include:

Smoke alarms should be installed in every sleeping room and outside each separate sleeping area. Alarms should be installed on every level of the home. Large homes may need extra smoke alarms.  When a smoke alarm sounds, get outside, and stay outside. Replace all smoke alarms in your home every 10 years.

Here are some fire prevention tips:

Keep flammable items away from heat sources (oven, stove, fireplace, etc.). Clean up greasy spills as you go to remove another fire hazard.  If you have a live Christmas tree, be sure to water it every day. Don’t plug in more than 3 light strands to one another (use a power cord instead), discard any strands that are worn or broken, and always unplug lights (and blow out candles!) before leaving the house or going to bed. If using a menorah or kinara, place it on a non-flammable surface to catch the melting candle wax, such as a tray lined with aluminum foil.