Oklahoma City Firefighters give advice on fire and explosion prevention

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A devastating home explosion that killed a 14-year-old girl is reminding families how everything can change in an instant.

It’s important to take any possible precautions to keep your loved ones safe from not only explosions, but also fires and other disasters in the coming months.

Oklahoma City firefighters say the best thing you can do is be proactive to prevent a tragedy.

“Just take a nice easy walk around the inside of your house, do you have CO detectors?” said Maj. Louis J. Marschik. “If you have gas in your house, you definitely want to have a CO detector.”

The home that exploded Thursday was not heated with natural gas. Instead, it had a propane system.

The Oklahoma Liquified Petroleum Gas Administration says a homemade log lighter that wasn’t up to code was in the house, and there was no safety valve to shut it off.

The administration and firefighters recommend you have your propane company inspect the inside of your home and have gas explosion detectors.

“It hangs down low in the house if you have propane floating around in your house,” Marschik said.

In most cases, Oklahoma City firefighters say carbon monoxide is the cause of explosions.

Families should get a CO detector and read the installation instructions on it.

“It’s OK to put it up high because nowadays they have dual-purpose smoke alarms and CO detectors in the same device,” said Marschik.

For all detectors, it’s recommended to ensure they’re lab tested.

“UL stands for Underwriter’s Laboratory. That’s one of the main companies that you’ll see,” Marschik said.

Also, have professional heating experts look at your unit every year to prevent fires.

All are steps you can take to lessen the chance of tragedies like what occurred this week.

“We just want to continue to pray for the family members and also their neighbors,” Marschik said. “Their neighbors came out in amazing fashion to help that family.”

Oklahoma City firefighters will provide and install smoke alarms in Oklahoma City homes for free.

Just call 316-BEEP.

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