State Fire Marshal James Greeson said “The holidays are an important time to be sure your smoke alarms are working”. “Thanksgiving is the leading day for home cooking fires, and cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home fire-related injuries. The importance of working smoke alarms cannot be stressed enough.”
The following are some important safety tips that are applicable year-round, but are especially important during the holiday season.
- Stay in the kitchen while cooking food. If there is a need to leave the kitchen even for a short period, turn off the stove.
- Check cooking food regularly and remain in the home while it is cooking.
- Keep any flammable objects, such as oven mitts, utensils, food packages, and towels away from the stovetop.
- Keep an all-purpose fire extinguisher nearby. Never use water to extinguish a grease fire.
- Keep a lid nearby when cooking to smother small grease fires. Smother the fire by sliding the lid over the pan and turn off the stovetop. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.
- In the event of an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.
- Turkey fryers or other deep fryers should always be used outdoors, a safe distance from buildings and any other flammable materials.
- Have working smoke alarms on all levels of the house, including the basement. Ideally smoke alarms will be near every sleeping area.
- Be aware that alcohol can impair the judgment of your guests. If someone plans to drive home, make sure they are sober. If not, take away the keys and call them a taxi. You want them around and alive for next Thanksgiving. Of course a DUI arrest can also have a severe impact on the guest’s budget for Christmas gift giving as well.