January 15, 2020
There’s nothing like being home for the holidays. But all of our holiday activities can create increased safety risks. Fires are a particular risk this time of year, from kitchen fires to blazes sparked by Christmas light. Make sure you don’t neglect these important safety precautions to keep your loved ones safe and protect your home.
Safety in the Kitchen
- If deep-frying a turkey, always do so outside, at least 10 feet from your home. Make sure your fryer is on level ground, and your turkey is thawed and dry.
- Never leave food unattended when frying or grilling. User at timer to remind you to check dishes that are in the oven or simmering on the stove—with extra people and activity in your home, it’s easy to get distracted!
- Keep pot holders, food packaging and other flammable materials at least three feet from the stove.
- If you have a grease fire, DO NOT douse with water. Carefully suffocate it with a lid (if small enough) using potholders, douse with baking soda or use a fire extinguisher if it’s getting out of hand (make sure you have one nearby!).
- Before the big cooking day, check all smoke alarms. Also clean your oven and cooktop—grease build up can lead to fires.
- Unplug any unnecessary appliances to avoid overloading your circuits.
- Keep children and pets out of the kitchen.
Christmas Decoration Safety
- Before stringing your lights, carefully check all strands for cracked cords, frayed ends or loose connections.
- Keep any real Christmas trees well-watered—dry leaves and hot lights are a bad combination.
- Consider switching to LED lights, which are cool to the touch—and much more efficient! LEDs also have no glass and are more durable.
- Make sure lights hung outside are rated for outdoor use.
- Make sure all cords are taped down to avoid trip hazards.
- If lighting candles, keep away from flammable materials, do not leave unattended and be sure to extinguish all candles before leaving or going to bed. Never use lighted candles on a tree or near evergreens.