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State Fire Marshal

A Division of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety
 

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A mother's mission: Sounding the alarm on a silent killer

​​Photo of Cheryl at her sons' grave.Cheryl Burt bought a toy truck for her son instead of a carbon monoxide alarm. She still has the toy truck — but not her son. The 16-month-old died 23 years ago along with his 4-year-old brother.

Nicholas and Zachary Burt were poisoned in their sleep by carbon monoxide from a faulty furnace.

Cheryl hopes her sons’ deaths and her story that she shares in this video are all the reason you need to buy CO alarms for your home and test them monthly.​​

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Tips for staying warm and safe this winter

A blanket catching fire on a space heaterStaying warm is good, whether it's from a furnace, fire in the fireplace, or space heater. But the very things that keep us cozy in the cold can endanger our lives. When the ​temperature drops, the number of fires typically spikes.

Fortunately, like most fires, wintertime fires are mostly preventable if you just take a few precautions on the front end. This DPS blog will tell you how to stay safe while you're keeping warm.​​ See just how fast a blanket can catch fire in this demonstration video. ​

Featured Video

Video Description: Most smoking-related fire deaths happen inside homes where a smoker improperly extinguishes a cigarette. This video explains how tragedy strikes.