First responders offer tips during National Fire Prevention week

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Sunday kicked off National Fire Prevention Week, and first responders in Briarcliff Manor wasted no time warning families to be proactive when it comes to fire safety.

On Saturday, Ossining nursing home residents were saved by a carbon monoxide detector, and a father and daughter also survived a fire in Chestnut Ridge thanks to their smoke detector.

As temperatures drop, the threat of incidents like these rise because they are often sparked or associated with heaters, furnaces and other methods families use to keep warm through the winter.

Firefighters say that before breaking out space heaters, make sure to have both a working smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector.

Carbon monoxide is often termed the silent killer because the odorless, tasteless and invisible gas can build up in homes and quickly turn deadly. 

"Proper placement is great. Any place you rest your head you're gonna want a smoke and carbon monoxide detector. Common areas, basically anywhere you would go at some point and you may not realize you feel ill. Especially if you're sleeping you want it to alert you there's a problem and you need to wake up,” says Vincent Caruso, first assistant chief of the Briarcliff Fire Department.

Caruso says families often purchase fire safety equipment once and leave it sitting in their home for years. He says all of these devices get old, go bad or malfunction - needing servicing or replacing.

Firefighters say a great rule of thumb is to check detectors every single month to make sure they are working properly, and to replace the batteries at least twice a year.

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