Tragedy a reminder to check homes for fire safety

Published 9:00 pm Friday, December 15, 2017

Our community is in mourning today after the tragic death late last night of two children — ages 1 and 2 — in a house fire in downtown Vicksburg.

Fire and law enforcement officials are still investigating the fire in an effort to piece together how it started and how those two precious children lost their lives.

Our hearts and prayers go out to the family, friends and neighbors of the children. We ask for comfort and peace for them at this horrific time in their lives.

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It’s a reminder of how precious and how fleeting life can be.

While the cause of Thursday night’s fire has not been determined, we would do well to check our homes to ensure safety from preventable fire.

Experts recommend:

• Check electrical cords throughout your home for signs of fraying and replace all frayed wires.

• Do not pinch or cover electrical cords with items such as rugs.

• Be aware of the capacity of your home’s electrical system. Do not overload circuits. Consult a licensed electrician if you don’t know the capacity of your homes electrical system.

• Don’t be careless in the kitchen. Never leave pots or pans unattended on the stove.

• Keep a fire extinguisher readily available, and know how to use it.

• Keep your stove and oven clean. Built up food splatter or grease can later ignite.

• Avoid using an older space heater. Do not place a space heater near furniture, curtains or other objects that could easily catch fire.

• Clean out dryer lint filters after each load. Clean out the dryer’s vent regularly.

• Never, ever operate a kerosene heater inside a home or use a stove or oven for heating your home.

• Locate fire alarms in every bedroom of your house and make sure their batteries are operational at all times.

• And during this time of year, make certain your Christmas tree is at least three feet away from any heat source. Water the tree every day and remove it from your home once it becomes dry. Don’t burn your Christmas tree branches or wrapping paper in your fireplace.

Our hearts are broken for the two babies lost Thursday. Please take a moment to protect yourself and others living in your home by making sure it’s fire safe.