Fire officials offer safety tips

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MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - A weekend fire at the Deville Manor Apartments was caused by a burner on a stove being left on. When it comes to the use of appliances in your home, there are some tips you can follow.

“If you’re cooking, you need to stay in the house,” says Rachel Foy, the fire prevention specialist for the Meridian Fire Department. “If you are baking something in the oven, you don’t have to stay in the kitchen that whole time, but you definitely don’t want to leave the house because anything can happen.”

Fire officials urge everybody to have a working smoke alarm in their homes.

“That’s your first line of defense, when that smoke alarm goes off, you have a fire and you just don’t worry about anything but getting out of the house,” Foy says. “Have a home escape plan in your home that tells you, everybody in the household knows this is what I need to do if the smoke alarm goes off.”

If you are ever in a situation where a fire happens while you’re in your home, it’s recommended to close the door to the room you’re in, cover your mouth and your nose, and get to a window.

“Take blankets, or towels, clothes, whatever, and shove it against the doors, trying to slow that smoke,” Foy says. “Get by the window, if you can even get out the window, get out the window; but if not, kind of get by the window so that way when you see the emergency personnel pull up you can try to flag them down in there.”

With some of the coldest temperatures we’ve seen so far this season possibly on their way next week, space heaters may be used by many.

“Keep them three feet of clearance around the space heater, you don’t want to have a lot of stuff around it because that gives you a chance of having a fire; do not use an extension cord with a space heaters, they need to be plugged in to the outlet in the wall.”

Thanks to a grant, the Meridian Fire Department has some smoke alarms. If you don’t have one in your home and you live in the city limits, the fire department can come and install one if you give them a call.