Don't let your time with loved ones be turned into a tragedy. The Red Cross has some simple steps everyone can follow to prevent home fires around the holidays:
- Test your smoke alarms.
- Check food regularly while cooking and remain in the home while cooking. Use a timer as a reminder that the stove or oven is on.
- Enforce a “kid-free zone” in the cooking area and make children stay at least three feet away from the stove.
- Keep anything that can catch fire away from the stove, oven or any appliance in the kitchen that generates heat.
- Clean cooking surfaces on a regular basis to prevent grease buildup.
- Purchase a fire extinguisher to keep in the kitchen. Contact the local fire department to receive training on the proper use of extinguishers.
- Choose decorations that are flame resistant or flame retardant.
- Keep children, pets and decorations away from lit candles.
- Keep matches and lighters up high in a locked cabinet.
- Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Connect no more than three strands of mini light sets and a maximum of 50 bulbs for screw-in bulbs. Read manufacturer’s instructions for the number of LED strands to connect. Some strings of lights are only for indoor or outdoor use, but not both
- Use clips, not nails, to hang lights so the cords do not get damaged.
- Keep decorations away from windows and doors.
And if you have a little downtime during days off, log on and test your knowledge on how to prevent home fires by taking the Fire Safety Quiz!
Wishing you Happy, Safe Holidays to you and yours,
All of us at the American Red Cross of Colorado