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Posted on: December 12, 2016

Holiday Fire Safety Tips from the Gadsden Fire Department

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Department

Cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries Keep anything that can catch fire: oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains, away from the stovetop.

  • Stay in the kitchen when frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you must leave, even for a second, turn the stove off. 
  • The cooking range or cooktop is involved in the majority of cooking fire incidents, deaths and injuries.  If you have a pan fire slide a lid on the pan and turn off the burner.
  • Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires, followed by Christmas Day, and Christmas Eve.
  • Have a child-free zone of at least 3-feet around areas where hot food and drink is prepared or carried.

Candles may be pretty to look at but they are a cause of home fires and fire deaths. Remember, a candle is an open flame, which means that it can easily ignite anything that can burn.

  • Blow out all candles when you leave the room or go to bed. Avoid the use of candles in the bedroom and other areas where people may fall asleep.
  • Think about using flameless candles in your home. They look and smell like real candles.
  • Use candle holders that are sturdy, and won’t tip over easily.
  • Put candle holders on a sturdy, uncluttered surface.
  • Don’t burn a candle all the way down. Put it out before it gets too close to the holder or container.
  • Never use a candle if oxygen is used in the home.
  • More than half of all candle fires start when things that can burn are too close to the candle.

Christmas Trees can be one of the most serious fire hazards during the holidays.

As you deck the halls this holiday season, be fire smart. A small firer that spreads to a Christmas tree can grow large very quickly. 

  • Choose a tree with fresh, green needles that do not fall off when touched. Make sure the tree is not blocking an exit. Be sure to add water daily Make sure the tree is at least three feet away from any heat source, like replaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights.
  • Use lights that have the label of a recognized testing laboratory. Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use.
  • Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Connect no more than three strands of mini string sets and a maximum of 50 bulbs for screw-in bulbs. Read manufacturer’s instructions for number of strands to connect.
  • Never use lit candles to decorate the tree.
  • Always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving the home or going to bed.

We hope you have a safe and happy holiday season and remember, stay fire smart!

For more information contact Assistant Fire Marshal Heath Smith at hsmith@cityofgadsden.com or 256-549-4572.

VIDEO PSA: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jUV1-XQ4gUo

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