Some of your favorite holiday traditions — open hearths, candles and holiday cooking — can also increase the risk for house fires.
“All of us at Barrow County Emergency Services want to remind our friends and neighbors that being prepared and practicing safety can make this a holiday season full of great memories,” Lt. Scott Dakin, public information officer, said in a news release.
According to the United States Fire Administration, an estimated 2,000 Thanksgiving Day fires in residential buildings occur annually, resulting in an estimated average of five deaths, 25 injuries and $21 million in property damage. The leading cause of these fires? Cooking.
Here are five cooking safety tips from Barrow County Emergency Services to help you avoid a holiday disaster.
- Make sure you have smoke alarms on every level of your home, outside each sleeping area and in every bedroom. Test smoke alarms monthly and replace them if they are 10 years old or older.
- Never leave cooking food unattended, and keep a lid nearby to smother small fires in pans, such as grease fires. Be particularly careful with oil-based turkey fryers, which present numerous burn and fire hazards.
- Don't wear loose sleeves while working over hot stove burners, as they can melt, ignite or catch on the handles of pots and pans, spilling hot oil and other liquids.
- Have a "kid-free zone" of at least three feet around the stove and areas where hot foods and drinks are prepared or carried.
- Plug cooking appliances directly into an electrical outlet. Never use an extension cord for a cooking appliance. It can overload the circuit and cause a fire.
“From all of us at Barrow County Emergency Services we wish all of our Barrow County friends and neighbors a very Happy and Safe Thanksgiving,” Dakin said.