Editor’s note: The following is a monthly column submitted by the Eau Claire Fire Department:

Following are several tips to keep you and your family safe this winter:

• Adopt a fire hydrant on your property. Clear snow within three feet of the hydrant to give firefighters quick access. Also clear a path of snow from the hydrant to the street.

• Keep snow clear from your natural gas meter equipment and the furnace intake and exhaust pipes.

• Keep combustibles off the stove and out of the oven. Always keep a cover in reach for the pans you are using. If there is a fire, cover the pan, turn off the burner and wait until it cools.

• Use deep, non-combustible ash trays or containers to dispose of cigarette butts. Crush cigarette butts when finished smoking and soak them with water before throwing them in the trash. Don’t smoke in bed or when you are feeling tired.

• Check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors monthly. Have a fire escape plan and make sure all windows open easily.

For questions or more safety information, call the Fire Department’s Fire Prevention Bureau at 715-839-4825.

Contact: 715-833-9207, dan.holtz@ecpc.com