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Fire chief encourages safety

To ward against a house fire, residents are encouraged to get their heaters cleaned and checked by a licensed air conditioning and heating repairman, Atmore Fire Chief Ronald Peebles said.

Cold is starting to make its presence known in the area, and as a result, residents turn on devices that bring warmth.

Peebles said the main thing residents should do is get their units cleaned and have their chimneys swept and cleaned.

“Friday, I cleaned both of mine out, and I was burning fires all weekend,” he said.

Peebles said a good tip to know about space heaters is that you don’t want to be out of the room with them running.

“They need to have 36 inches of space around them,” he said.

In addition, the use of extension chords can also result in a house fire.

“Use the least amount of extension chords as you can,” Peebles said. “Don’t leave them laying in piles of leaves. It takes just one little spark to set a fire. I know that two of our fires last week were lit by someone thumping a cigarette in the road.

“You just have to be extremely careful,” he said. “Any spark can start a fire up.”

At present, Peebles said the burn ban for the city is still in effect.

“We’re going to have to have several days of rain before we can lift the fire ban,” he said. “Statewide, and into Escambia County, Florida, there’s a burn ban.”

When cooking outside, be sure to take caution when frying a turkey, making sure the turkey is fully thawed out.