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A fire last week left a Lansing mother and her three children homeless. The cause of the fire turned out to be electrical in nature, and there are certain things you can do to help reduce the risk of your home going up in flames. The fire, which took place in the ceilng of the second floor bathroom, was likely the result of a ventilation fan. It turns out, paying careful attention can alert you to the need to have such fans inspected. Thankfully, nobody was injured in this fire.

The first thing you can do is to make sure your fans are clean of lint and grease on a six month basis. You're definitely going to know something is up if they suddenly stop functioning or start making noises. Officials ask that you contact a licensed electrical worker to inspect the fans at that point.

The reason these fires start, and destroy homes and take lives, is because lint can get into the fans and dry out the bearings. According to Lansing Fire Department spokesman Eric Weber:

That fan can start to malfunction. If the fan seizes up and has an electrical current to it that switches on, it'll heat up until it causes a fire.

Let's all make sure our homes stay secure this cold winter season. It might not seem like a necessary step to take, but regularly checking our ventilation fans are clean could help save your home and your family.

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