Today’s tip: Taking these steps can help prevent holiday fires
According to the National Fire Protection Association, the top three days for home candle fires are Christmas Eve, Christmas and New Year’s Day. Like candles, the top days for cooking fires include Christmas and New Year's Day. What’s important to remember, however, is that cooking and candles are not the real cause: people are.
Here are some tips from the Minneapolis Fire Department to help you prevent home fires over the coming holidays and throughout the year.
Take these steps to avoid a candle fire:
- Keep candles at least 12 inches from anything that can burn.
- Blow out candles before you leave the room and before you go to bed.
- Never allow children to play with candles or have candles in their bedrooms.
- Consider using flameless candles.
Take these steps to avoid a cooking fire:
- Look when you cook. If you're cooking on the stovetop, stay in the kitchen to keep an eye on what's cooking. If you have to leave — even for a second — turn the burner off. Many fires start because someone walked away from the stove, got distracted, and forgot they had something cooking.
- Keep towels, newspapers, mail and other things away from your cooking area.
- Clean up spills around burners and from the bottom of the oven. These can catch on fire or produce a lot of smoke if they burn.
- Set a timer when you're baking, slow roasting or cooking things that take time. A timer will alert you when it's done.
- Keep children at least three big steps away from the stove. Curious kids can pull down pans and get burned.
What to do if you have a stovetop fire:
- Turn off the burner and cover the pan with a tight fitting lid.
- Never put water on a pan fire.
- Never pick up the pan and move it to the sink or anywhere else.
- If you can’t safely put out a kitchen fire, get everyone out and call 911.
Be safe with holiday lights
- Make sure holiday lights and other electrical cords are in good working condition. Replace or repair damaged items.
- Don't overload outlets; use a surge protector/power strip instead. If an outlet feels warm to the touch or is sparking, call a qualified electrician.
Published Dec. 11, 2013