Christmas and New Year’s are two of the biggest days for fires—play it safe as you celebrate
Did you know Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve are two of the most common days for house fires? The Minneapolis Fire Department wants to help people celebrate safely this holiday season. Cooking, heating, and candles are at the center of most winter holiday celebrations, and they’re also the top three causes of home fires. When you add alcohol to the equation this compounds the risk even more.
The Minneapolis Fire Department wants everyone to make safe choices this holiday season. Here are some tips to make sure your celebration is a safe one:
- If you’re drinking, let someone else be in charge of the oven.
- Never leave cooking unattended on the stove.
- Turn pot and pan handles so they don’t hang over the edge of the stove. That way, they’re less likely to be knocked off the stove accidentally.
- Set a timer to remind you when food is done cooking.
To help folks stay safe in the kitchen during the holidays and throughout the year, the City of Minneapolis has also produced a kitchen fire safety video that is available in English, Spanish, Somali and Hmong on the City’s YouTube channel.
- There are more candle fires on New Year’s Day than any other day of the year.
- Avoid using candles at parties, but if you do use them, put them in an open area and do not leave them unattended.
- 40 percent of candle fires start when something that can catch fire is too close to the candle flame. Keep candles away from decorations or other combustible materials.
- Never leave children or pets unattended in a room with a burning candle.
- 30 percent of candle fires start in the bedroom. Avoid using candles in the bedroom, but if you do use them, make sure they are extinguished before you leave the house or go to sleep.
- Consider using flameless candles instead of open flame
- Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of fire fatalities in Minnesota, and smoking coupled with alcohol can be deadly. After a party, check in the cushions and under upholstered furniture, and check wastebaskets for cigarette butts that may still be smoldering.
Visit the City's website to see a range of fire safety brochures you can use, including brochures with more holiday safety tips.
Published Dec. 18, 2013