Fire Prevention Week: Chief Talks Electrical Safety

Northwest Iowa — National Fire Prevention week is wrapping up in northwest Iowa with fire safety presentations in schools and fire truck rides for northwest Iowa kids. But fire officials are emphasizing fire safety and prevention for adults as well.
firefighter's fire helmet
The push this week has been on having smoke alarms installed not only on every floor of your home but in every bedroom as well. Fire officials say you should check smoke alarm batteries, and make sure the alarms are less than ten years old. They also say you should have a home fire escape plan in addition to those at work and school. Plus, if you have a fire, they want you to call 911 AFTER everyone is out of the home — on a cell phone or a neighbor’s phone.

We talked to Orange City Fire Chief Denny VanderWel this week about how to prevent fires.

He says another thing to keep in mind is don’t overload outlets. He says many power strips have their own circuit breakers, but we shouldn’t let that give us a false sense of security.

According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International, nearly half of electrical fires are caused by faulty electrical outlets and outdated appliances, light bulbs that exceed the recommended fixture wattage, damaged or misused extension cords, dirty or poorly positioned space heaters, and outdated wiring.

To learn more about fire prevention, visit and



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