Red Cross Safety Tips to Prevent Holiday Home Fires
All to often this time of the year we hear stories of families that lose everything to a fire. Unfortunately, 'tis the season for these types of tragedies. Christmas Day, Christmas Eve, and Thanksgiving are the top three days for cooking fires, according to the National Fire Prevention Association. The Red Cross says cooking is the leading cause of home fires. They have some simple steps you can follow to prevent home fires around the holidays:
- Test your smoke alarms.
- Check food regularly while cooking and remain in the home while cooking. Use a timer as a reminder that the stove or oven is on.
- Enforce a “kid-free zone” in cooking areas. Keep children at least three feet away from the stove.
- Keep anything that can catch fire away from the stove, oven or any appliance that generates heat.
- Clean cooking surfaces on a regular basis to prevent grease buildup.
- Purchase a fire extinguisher to keep in the kitchen.
- Choose decorations that are flame resistant or flame retardant.
- Keep children, pets and decorations away from lit candles.
- Keep matches and lighters up high in a locked cabinet.
- Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Connect no more than three strands of mini light sets and a maximum of 50 bulbs for screw-in bulbs. Read manufacturer’s instructions for the number of LED strands to connect. Some strings of lights are only for indoor or outdoor use, but not both.
- Use clips, not nails, to hang lights so the cords do not get damaged.
- Keep decorations away from windows and doors.