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RFD promotes spring cleaning for fire safety

With the arrival of the spring season, many people will be doing some cleaning around the house. Often times, though, people can spend so much time scrubbing, dusting and doing yard work that they overlook some simple things that could make their homes a little safer.


The Russellville Fire Department encourages adding the following tasks to that spring cleaning to do list.

Outdoor debris and dead vegetation are easily ignited by discarded matches, cigarettes and wayward sparks. To better protect the home, remove collected leaves from the roof and eaves, around the foundation and from the yard. This is especially important near forested areas. Clean garages or carports of stored newspapers or other rubbish that can fuel a fire. Sweep out dried leaves and cobwebs.

The leading cause of clothes dryer fires is failure to clean them. Clean the lint filter before and after each load of laundry. Remove lint that has collected around the drum and in the vent. Keep the dryer area free of things that can burn, like boxes, cleaning supplies and clothing.

Clean around furnaces and water heaters to remove leaves, cleaners, dust and other combustibles. Gasoline, kerosene and other flammables should be stored in their original containers, tightly-capped and stored outside the home in a shed or detached garage.

Oily rags can ignite without a heat source because they produce their own heat. Throw them out or store them in a closed metal container. This includes dusting rags used with a furniture polish or spray.


Gently vacuum smoke alarms to remove any dust or cobwebs to reduce the chance of false alarms. This can increase the effectiveness of the sensor.


Follow this up with a good general cleaning of the rest of the house. Getting rid of unwanted items and old household chemicals removes fuel from a fire, giving the fire department a better chance of limiting the amount of damage.