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Rivertowns Daily Voice serves Dobbs Ferry, Hastings & Irvington

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Fire Chief: Remember "EDITH" for Home Fire Safety

HASTINGS-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. – An unexpected fire in a home is something people can prepare for by remembering the simple acronym "EDITH," according to Hastings Fire Chief James Sarfaty.

“It stands for 'Exit Drills in the Home,'” he said.  “It’s essentially a home fire drill home owners can practice. In the event of a fire, learn the quickest and safest way out and have an essential rendezvous point so people can all meet at one place and stay together.”

With potentially dangerous fire places and heaters becoming more common in the colder weather, the local fire department has a few recommendations to stay safe.

“The best advice anyone can have in their home is a working smoke detector without question,” Sarfaty said. “We recommend that batteries be changed at least once a year, usually around the times clocks are changed.”

The Dobbs Ferry Fire Department’s website said smoke detectors are even more vital at home because oftentimes people overlook them.

“Although we like to feel safe at home, about two-thirds of our nation’s fire deaths happen in the victim’s own home,” the website said.  “The home is where we are at the greatest risk and where we must take the most precautions.”

Sarfaty also said homes should have carbon monoxide detectors and any smoke detectors 10 years or older should be discarded and replaced with a new one as a precaution.

“Smoke detectors save lives,” he said.  “It’s a sound you can live by that’s certainly true.”

As temperatures drop in the winter time the air can also become a littler drier so Sarfaty recommends cleaning household appliances such as clothes dryers regularly to prevent any type of lint or dust build up that could spark a fire.  Screens should also be placed in front of a fireplace to prevent ashes from drifting out.

Fires have been the cause of many tragedies in the area recently including Stamford, Lewisboro and Ossining

Sarfaty said the best way to respond to a fire of any size, however, is still to get out and call 911.

“It’s the quickest and fastest way of summoning emergency services,” he said.

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