Fire Safety Tips for the Holiday Season
As the holidays near, we’re using our kitchens and fireplaces more than we typically might. Kitchen fires tend to increase during this time of year with the additional use. Learn how to stay protected with these fire safety tips for the holiday season.
According to the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA), kitchen fires' leading cause is unattended cooking. Thanksgiving ranks at the top of the list for home fires involving cooking equipment with three times the average number, followed by Christmas Day and Christmas Eve. Kitchen fires can be exceptionally damaging because of the variety of items that can catch on fire (stove, oven, toasters, and other appliances) as well as the extent of damage a kitchen fire can cause, including everything in your food pantry. Though accidents happen, learn how to keep your kitchen fire-safe this holiday and all year long.
Fire prevention tips for the kitchen
The potential for a kitchen fire doesn't have to put a damper on your holiday cooking:
- Stay in the kitchen when cooking so you can keep an eye on the food, especially when frying and sautéing with oil.
- When cooking a meal that takes a long time, like roasting or baking, check the items being cooked frequently. Using a timer is also a great way to keep engaged on what’s happening in the kitchen oven or on the stovetop. Company can be distracting, so put timers in different rooms so you can hear it over the music and party chatter or wear an alarm on your watch.
- Be alert when cooking. It's easy to get distracted when there is a lot of activity around you. To help minimize the risk of injury, avoid consuming alcohol while cooking to keep completely alert, or have others assist you in the kitchen.
- Keep objects that can catch fire, such as oven mitts, wooden utensils, food wrappers, and towels away from the stove.
- Make sure kids stay away from the stove and oven, hot food, and liquids. Curious little hands can cause an accident within seconds.
- Store toys, pocketbooks, and bags in a safe place so you, your guests, and the kids don't trip near the stove and oven or on a sharp corner of the counter.
- Move matches and utility lighters out of reach of children.
- Secure cords from electric knives, the coffee maker, plate warmer, mixer, and other cooking equipment at the far end of counters so no one accidentally pulls them off the edge.
- Keep floors clean and dry, wiping up spills immediately to avoid slips and falls.
Enjoy your holiday fireplace safely
Since it gets chilly around the holidays, many people will enjoy a nice, warm fire in the fireplace, plus nothing says cozy like a crackling fire! Here are a few tips to keep that fire where it belongs:
- Always have a screen in front of your fireplace
- Never leave a fireplace completely unattended
- Be sure your fireplace flue is open
- Consider having your flue inspected and cleaned before the holiday season
- Keep kids and pets away from the fireplace; even the screen can get scalding hot to the touch!
What to do if a fire occurs
If you experience a fire during the holiday season, don’t hesitate to contact SERVPRO of East Phoenix once the flames are extinguished. Whether the damage is large or small, caused by flames, soot, or chemicals from firefighters, SERVPRO’s trained fire remediation specialists can clean up the mess, address the damage, and do everything possible to get your home back to normal. Contact us 24/7 at 602-507-6163 to get your holiday back on track.