Gathering with friends and family to enjoy a delicious meal made with love is the best part of the holidays. With cooking being the number one cause of home fires, the American Red Cross recommends that everyone follow these fire safety steps:
- Don’t wear loose clothing or sleeves that dangle while cooking.
- If you are frying, grilling or broiling food, never leave it unattended – stay in the kitchen. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
- If you’re simmering, baking, roasting or broiling food, check it regularly.
- Use a timer to remind yourself that the stove or oven is on.
- Install smoke alarms near kitchens and sleeping areas. Use the test button to check it each month and replace all batteries when required.
- Keep kids and pets away from the cooking area. Make them stay at least three feet away from the stove.
- Keep anything that can catch fire – pot holders, paper or plastic bags, towels or curtains – away from your stove, oven or any other appliance in the kitchen that generates heat.
- Clean cooking surfaces on a regular basis to prevent grease buildup.
- Always check the kitchen before going to bed or leaving the home to make sure all stoves and small appliances are turned off.
- Consider purchasing a fire extinguisher to keep in your kitchen. Contact your local fire department to take training on the proper use of extinguishers.
The Red Cross First Aid App provides expert advice for common mishaps or emergencies including cuts, burns and what to do if someone is choking. Download the app for free in your app store or text GETFIRST to 90999.
For more information on safety tips for the holidays, visit: https://www.redcross.org/holiday-fire-safety
Prepared by, Ekland Durousseau, Red Cross contributor