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Official recommends preparations for fire season
Temperatures are dropping, leaves are falling and Brunswick Fire Marshal Jose Juarbe is urging residents to prepare their homes for what firefighters call fire season.

A lot of people who have smoke detectors in their homes checked or replaced the batteries in smoke detectors last week, when Daylight Saving Time ended.

"It's always a good idea when we change the time for people to make it a habit to check their smoke detectors and check their batteries to make sure they are operating," Juarbe said.

Smoke detectors are the best way to protect homes from serious damage and people from injury or death from fire, Juarbe said.

Double-checking detectors is the easiest thing residents can do to protect themselves.

For residents who live in older houses not equipped with detectors or who do not have the ability to install or test them, Juarbe said the city has them covered.

"We do a program, especially for our seniors, for anyone who can show an ID that says they live in the city of Brunswick and shows need for smoke detectors. We can go out and install them, no problem," Juarbe said.

Having operational smoke detectors will help residents survive a fire, but taking steps to prevent fire is just as important, he said.

Residents who have fireplaces should be aware that chimneys can become blocked or damaged over the summer months, he said.

"This time of year, people start burning in their fireplaces. We recommend they have their fireplaces checked before using them each year," he said. "They also need to make sure they are only burning things in those that are meant to be burned in a fireplace."

With Thanksgiving approaching, Juarbe said people need to be extra careful in the kitchen and when using candles.

Outdoor cooking can also be dangerous, he said.

"Thanksgiving is coming up, and there are people who want to do the turkey frying. With wind and lower temperatures, I know some people will want to (use a fryer) in a garage. We urge them to keep those outdoors, away from flammable material," Juarbe said.

Winter months can be the most dangerous for firefighters and residents alike, but Juarbe said with a little preparation that danger can be dramatically reduced.

"I just urge people to please be proactive about fire prevention, and we can all stay safe."

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