DES MOINES, Iowa — The Des Moines Fire Department expects a heavy volume of calls every winter, but it hopes the public does what it can to keep the risk for fires down while the temperatures remain chilly.

Lt. Rick Thomas of the Des Moines Fire Department said the most important piece of safety advice is to make sure you have a working smoke detector that is less than ten years old. Aside from that, here are other safety tips:

  • Do not overload outlets or surge protectors
  • Do not plug space heaters into extension cords
  • Regularly clean dryer vents and fireplaces
  • Keep Christmas trees watered

Thomas also believes it is crucial to close your bedroom door before you go to sleep, because the door can stop a potentially deadly fire from reaching you.

“I remember going into so many houses where a bedroom door was closed and there was very little damage in there while the rest of the house was burned really well,” Thomas said. “Even though it’s a hollow core door, it still makes a huge difference in the heat and smoke going into that room.”