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Fire, EMS company offers winter safety tips

December 15, 2009

WILLIAMSPORT - The Williamsport Volunteer Fire and EMS continued to respond to all emergencies in Williamsport and its surrounding areas in November, according to Scott Bragunier, public information officer.

There was an increase in EMS calls, but there was a decrease in fires.

Bragunier wants to draw attention to two safety issues:

o One of the leading causes of house fires in the winter is chimneys. Burning firewood such as pine in a fireplace results in creosote building up inside flues and attaching itself to the walls. When creosote accumulates, it acts as a fuel and has the potential to ignite inside a flue. If the fire is intense enough, it might extend into other parts of a home, such as the walls or attic. Fire and rescue officials recommend getting chimneys cleaned and inspected annually by professionals.

o According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, among older adults, falls are the leading cause of injuries resulting in death. They are also the most common cause of nonfatal injuries and hospital admissions for trauma.

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Fire and rescue officials recommend caution when removing snow from your property. Take your time so you don't overexert and cause a possible heart attack. Another consideration: Along with salt and other ice melts, spread sand, which will decrease the chances of slips and falls.

Also, never put your hand or any other body part near any opening of a snowblower.

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