GETZVILLE, N.Y. (WIVB) — The Firefighters Association of the State of New York is reminding everyone to take precautions and practice fire prevention protocols around your home.

“Fire safety is something that you can do year-round, and that saves you and your family,” said Lt. David Morales, with FASNY. “It doesn’t matter who you are, where you are, fire is something that can come into your home at any given time. So it’s always important to make sure you remember fire safety tips especially children who are going to learn, they learned at school, so it’s good to reinforce it at home.”

He says there are a number of things to do to make sure your family and you can remain safe.

Dusting off the Heat sources for the Season-Morales says they see a huge uptick in the amount of house fires during colder months. He says the first time you use it for the season, inspect it, look for damage. To make sure your chimney is cleaned and the flues are open, and to dust off your heaters.

Make a Fire Escape Plan-He suggests to go over your fire escape plans, including designating a meeting place outside, with your family and to practice it. He suggests to find atleast two ways to escape your home, and talk to your children about what to do if there is a fire, and how to call 9-1-1.

Double check your Smoke Detectors and Fire Extinguishers-He encourages to test your smoke detectors every month, and to know what type of fire extinguisher you have, reminding to never use a Water based Extinguisher on a gas fire.

If you need to use your fire extinguisher, remember P.A.S.S.-Pull the pin, Aim the nozzle, Squeeze the handle, use a Sweeping motion to put out the fire.

How to Handle Kitchen Fires

“Kitchen fires are one of the leading fires in homes every single year,” said Morales. “Never leave something cooking unattended, you shouldn’t go in the other room and take a nap, you shouldn’t go and run errands. Anytime you have anything in the oven or on the stove, you should be nearby and supervising it.”

He also says when cooking on the stove, always have the proper lid to the pan nearby, incase of the fire, you can deprive it of oxygen. If the oven catches on fire, he says to keep the oven door shut, and turn off the heat right away. He says if a fire in your home gets out of control, leave your home immediately and call 9-1-1.

For more information about Fire Prevention Month, visit FASNY’s website here.

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Hope Winter is a reporter and multimedia journalist who has been part of the News 4 team since 2021. See more of her work here.