Fire Prevention Week is marked every year in early October. Maybe its the “flaming foliage” of autumn that makes it appropriate. Maybe its the approaching winter when many residents start up electric heaters, wood stoves and kerosene heaters to help warm their homes.

Either way, they are good reasons to think about fire safety, appropriate all year round.

As much as may enjoy the red, orange and yellow of fall’s leafy landscape, we don’t want to see it in the form of a forest fire. Just turn on the evening news and see what a wildfire can do; over 2,000 homes in northern California have burned in the current round of fires, last I heard.

Alternate forms of heating our home also can be dangerous if we’re not careful. It’s critical to follow instructions, such as not having a heater too close to furniture or curtains, not on when we are not around, or have anything on top. Are the electrical outlets overloaded?

When’s the last time the chimney was cleaned out? We hear too often about chimney fires.

We could go on about not playing with matches, careless smoking, being sure you have working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and have a family escape plan in the event of an emergency. The list goes on.

Let’s also pause to give thanks for our wonderful volunteer firefighters. They do an incredible job at keeping us safe. Their sacrifice of family time, sleep time, leaving work when called out must not go unnoticed. Hats off to our EMS personnel and police departments as well. We would be in a sorry state indeed without them. Our emergency services are also in need of volunteers.