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PHOENIX -- Some New Year's resolutions are harder to keep than others. One that should be at the top of your list this 2014 is keeping your loved ones safe, according to a Mesa Fire Department official.

"Make it a resolution to look around your home to start evaluating some of the things this year to pay attention to," said Mesa Fire Capt. Forrest Smith.

He said the first step is checking that every fire detector in your house works properly.

"Have you had that smoke detector that you never changed the battery? When you cook it keeps going off and so you decide to take the battery out and never put it back?"

Smith has responded to a fire where that was the case and the homeowner was awakened by a knock on the door by the fire department instead of a fire detector.

Another simple thing to do to protect your home from fires is keeping your yard neat. That includes trimming overgrown trees, and bushes maintained.

"Trees and dried material create what you call ladder fuels," Smith said. "If I have exposed a flame source to something in my yard, that flame could spread into my house."

Equally important is to put a fence up around your pool if you have children. In 2013, one child under the age of six died from a drowning. Though the number is significantly lower than previous years, Smith said one is always too many.

Another thing to consider is installing carbon monoxide detectors or servicing your furnace.

Learning CPR can also help save those around you in case of an emergency. Even if it's just hands-only CPR, Smith encouraged parents to stay up to date with available resources that can keep their families safe.

The Mesa Fire Department has a variety of resources on their website. For more information, click here.

Martha Maurer, News Editor

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