After weekend fatal fires, Rock Island Fire Department reminds people of potential fire hazards

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ROCK ISLAND, ILLINOIS  --  It's another deadly winter season for house fires.

Last year, 18 people were killed when their homes caught on fire. On February 1st and 2nd, four people in the greater Quad Cities area were killed, and two of the victims were children. 

After learning of the deadly fires over the weekend, the Rock Island Fire Department took to social media to remind everyone of the potential dangers in homes.

"We just thought it was a good time to bring attention to the fact that fires are real," Rock Island Fire Marshal Greg Marty said. "Fires happen, even more at this time of year and people need to take precautions."

Marty suggested precautions like closing the door to your bedroom at night. He says when a door is closed, it protects the person inside from flames and smoke inhalation.

"Studies definitely show those rooms where the doors are closed are much more survivable," Marty said.

He also mentioned not using extension cords, saying many fires spark from the longer cords.

"Extension cords a lot of times can be damaged, they get walked on bent and frayed," Marty said. "All of that damage can cause a fire."

Marty also stressed the importance of smoke detectors and fire sprinklers.

In November 2017, Rock Island started requiring fire sprinklers inside all newly built homes. Marty says smoke detectors should be checked every month.

"If you have working smoke detectors, that's your first line of defense."

Marty suggested candle lovers convert to wick-less candles or wax warmers.

The Rock Island Fire Department will also install smoke detectors into homes for free.

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