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fire extinguishers in the kitchen (and garage and workshop) and learn how to use them on small fires. Five-pound ABC-class extinguishers are available at hardware stores and home centers. If there's a big fire, get out, then call 911.

Store matches and lighters in a locked cabinet. Keep space heaters at least three feet from things like curtains and newspapers. Always turn off heaters when leaving the room or going to bed. Have chimneys, fireplaces, wood stoves and furnaces inspected annually and cleaned as needed.

Don't use extension cords with electric space heaters; the current they require could melt the cord and start a fire. When lighting a gas space heater, strike your match, then turn on the gas. Never use a gas range as a substitute for a furnace or space heater. Keep things that can burn away from your fireplace, and keep a glass or metal screen in front of it.

Puff outside. Use large, deep ashtrays on sturdy surfaces. Douse cigarette and cigar butts with water before dumping them in the trash. Never smoke in bed. Don't smoke when you are drinking or are unusually tired.

It's best not to use extension cords, but if you must, make sure the cords are not frayed or worn and are rated by Underwriters Laboratories (UL). Don't overload sockets. If a light fixture says to use a 60-watt bulb, don't use 100 watts. Check periodically for loose wall receptacles, loose wires and loose lights. Allow air space around TVs, lamps, radios and other appliances.

Never leave burning candles unattended. Don't allow children to keep candles or incense in their rooms. Always use stable candleholders made of materials that won't catch fire, such as metal and glass. Extinguish candles when adults leave the room.

Never leave home with the clothes dryer running. Vent the dryer to the outside, not into a wall or attic. Clean the lint screen frequently to keep the airway clear. Never put in synthetic fabrics, plastic, rubber or foam because they retain heat.

Install smoke alarms on every level of your house. For the best detection and notification, install both ionization and photoelectric-type smoke alarms; some models provide dual coverage. Put alarms inside or near every bedroom. Test them monthly. Put in new batteries once a year, sooner if the detector starts chirping. If your alarms are hard-wired, make sure they have battery backup in the event of power disruptions. There are smoke detectors for the hearing-impaired available on the Internet.

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