For much of the celebrations from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day, the kitchen takes center stage. We want you to enjoy your holidays keeping you, your loved ones and your house safe! That’s why we want you to take just a minute to consider what steps you can take to do so.
USE CAUTION BY THE STOVE
The very things we love about the holidays – lots of people, special foods, decorations, hub bub and maybe even some bubbly – can combine to make a house fire a possibility.
So, for starters, whenever you cook – be it Christmas cookies with the grandkids or your Thanksgiving turkey, always make sure you roll up your sleeves and tuck in loose clothing.
Also, always stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen, even for a short time, turn the stove off or get some help to monitor whatever is cooking.
If you are simmering, baking or roasting, check the food regularly, remain in the home while the food is cooking and use a timer to help remind you when food is still cooking!
Also, stay alert while cooking. That means being judicious about the alternative family activities, like games and TV that may include some bubbly libations while you are also cooking the family feast.
A pot on the stove or hot cooking oil left unattended has resulted in many fires. The cupboards soon ignite and often lead to an all-out structure fire. If – heaven forbid – that happens to you. This is what you should do:
If a pan catches fire, put a lid on it if you can do so safely and then turn off the stove. (The lid robs the fire of the oxygen it needs.)
Remember, never attempt to move a burning pan of grease!
Also, never attempt to put out a grease fire with water! The burning grease will explode out of the pan.
Always have a fire extinguisher close to your kitchen.
In general, only fight small fires with an extinguisher. If the fire is growing, get out of the house and call 911. If burn injuries have occurred, call 911.
TAKE CARE WITH CANDLES
It’s not just the preparing of the food that can be a concern. During the holidays especially, we all need to be especially aware of candle fires.
Be it on the dining table or on the mantle, candles can quickly cause a house fire.
Over the years, sadly local fire departments have seen many fires started by an unattended candle, a candle placed too close to a flammable surface or a candle on an unstable surface.
Here are some recommendations:
If you do use lit candles, make sure they are in sturdy metal, glass or ceramic holders, placed where they cannot be easily knocked down – even by a curious child or pet.
Keep candles at least 12 inches away from anything that can burn. Remember, too, that curtains move around when someone walks by. Keeping them well away from burning candles is important.
Again, keep burning candles out of reach of children and pets. The wax and flame are attractive nuisances for sure, remember?!
Never use a candle where medical oxygen is being used.
Never leave a room or go to bed with candles burning.
Use the new battery-operated candles – they come in all sizes now – as much as possible to give the illusion of flickering flames without the risk. Some even have a remote control.
In case of a power outage, whenever possible use a flashlight or battery-operated lantern for emergency lighting instead of candles.
Think safety first every time candles are used.
Many folks decorate for Christmas right after Thanksgiving, if that’s you,
as you move furniture around to accommodate the tree, extra company or large parties, remember to maintain clear exit pathways to the doors and windows in each room.
In the event of a fire, time is of the essence. A blocked exit puts you, your family and friends at risk. All families should have at least two ways out of each room.
Along those lines, remember this time of year that as you shift furniture around to accommodate your tree and large parties, make sure that all that wrapping paper, décor and even the tree itself is never placed too close to a fireplace, stove, wall heater or other heating appliance.