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Community service officers remind public of winter fire safety tips

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Smoke, flames, the sound of windows shattering, and the sight of a house burning: that is a sight and sound no one should experience. Believe it or not, a lot more fires happen in the winter than people think. Several people put themselves in harm’s way to help everyone else.
There are so many causes of fires during the winter months.
“Candles, space heaters, and faulty electricity are the main causes of fires. Especially during the holiday season, people like to have their candles lit. If people have long drapes and curtains, those could easily catch fire. Space heaters can easily catch fire when someone throws their clothes on it or if something is blocking it. Faulty electricity is a big problem because the equipment is out of date. It won’t work as well as it used to,” said Chicago firefighter Gregg Bagdade.
Firefighters are not the only people who help fire victims; police officers also play a big part.
“When there is a fire, we secure the house, help the paramedics, offer counseling, and we block the intersections so nobody else gets hurt,” said officer Dan Marciniak.
Police officers also connect victims of a fire with social services that will help them in their time of need.
“The best part about being a police officer is that every day is a new adventure. No day is ever the same. You always run into something different,” Marciniak said.
The training that police go through regarding fire safety includes making sure everyone is out of the house and accounted for. They are usually the first people to make it to the scene.
Nurses also play a big role. After the fire, they take care of any people who suffered from injuries or smoke inhalation.
“The top three most common injuries are smoke inhalation, burns and broken bones from people jumping from windows,” said ER nurse Susie Bagdade.
There are unique hospitals and units that have staff that specializes in taking care of patients with burns. There are first, second, and third degree burns. First degree burns are like a sunburn. Second degree is where the skin blisters, and third degree is where the skin is black or has been burnt off.
“Usually if the victims have fifteen percent of their body surface area burned, they would be admitted to a unit that specializes in burns,” Bagdade said.
An easy way to prevent fires is to replace smoke detector batteries.
“You should change them when you change your clocks,” Firefighter Bagdade said. Also, make sure you don’t leave any food that’s cooking unattended and always make sure you blow out your candles before you go anywhere.”
Overall, doing simple things can help prevent fires and keep people safe.

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Community service officers remind public of winter fire safety tips