Red Cross Offers Home Fire Safety Tips for Holidays

November 26, 2019, 3:28 PM HST (Updated November 26, 2019, 3:28 PM)
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Stove oven. PC: Max Pixel

The Red Cross has initiated a campaign to keep households as safe as possible throughout the holiday season.

As Thanksgiving approaches, it’s time to prepare the holiday feast and brush up on home fire safety and prevention within the household. Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires in the US, and the Red Cross urges everyone to never leave cooking food unattended, which is the most common cause of kitchen fires.

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10 THANKSGIVING COOKING SAFETY TIPS

  • Keep an eye on what you fry. Stay in the kitchen and never leave cooking food unattended. If you must leave the kitchen, even for a short period of time, turn off the stove.
  • Clean and clear the area around the stove before turning on the heat.
  • Move items that can burn away from the stove. These include towels, bags, boxes, paper and curtains.
  • Avoid wearing loose clothing or dangling sleeves while cooking.
  • Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the stove.
  • Turn pot handles to the back of the stove, so no one bumps them or pulls them over.
  • Fires can start when the heat is too high. When frying food, turn the burner off if you see smoke or if the grease starts to boil. Carefully remove the pan from the burner.
  • Keep a pan lid or a cookie sheet nearby. Use it to cover the pan if it catches on fire. This will put out the fire. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.
  • Use a timer to remind yourself that the stove or oven is on.
  • Check the kitchen before going to bed or leaving home to ensure all stoves, ovens and small appliances are turned off.

An average of seven Americans perish in house fires every day, and working smoke alarms cut the rate of death in half. The Red Cross recommends that families practice their home fire escape plan until everyone in the household can get out in two minutes or less.

Visit redcross.org/homefires for more information and free resources, or download the free Red Cross Emergency App by searching American Red Cross in app stores.

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