The end of the year for most Americans means preparing for feasts, festivities and fun throughout the holiday season. But each year that joy is ruined by tragedy when accidents and fires cause injuries and even death.
Every holiday the number of emergencies CAL FIRE responds to increases, the release said.
To help reduce the chance of fire and injuries associated with holiday cooking, follow these tips offered by
• If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
• Cooking food should always be supervised by an adult.
• Turkey fryers should always be used outdoors, a safe distance from buildings and other material that can burn. Never use on wooden decks or in garages.
• Children should not be permitted near a turkey fryer since hot oil can cause serious burn injuries.
• Provide a level surface that is free of ignitable materials when using turkey fryers.
• Make sure a fire extinguisher is handy at all times. Never use water to put out a grease fire.
• Use well-insulated potholders or oven mitts when touching pot or lid handles.
• Do not leave burning candles unattended or place them near flammable materials. Make sure they are in a secure place where children and pets won’t knock them over.
• Put candles in a non-tip candleholder before lighting them.
• Make sure all candles are extinguished before leaving the home or office and before going to bed. The most common area of origin for candle fires is the bedroom, then living rooms, bathrooms and the kitchen.
• Make sure all indoor and outdoor holiday lights bear the mark of an independent testing laboratory.
• Throw away any set of lights with cracked lights, frayed cords, or loose or damaged sockets.
• Don’t overload electrical outlets or run extension cords under carpets, across doorways or near heaters. Be sure extension cords aren’t pinched behind or under furniture, and unplug all decorative lights before leaving your home or going to bed.
• Never run extension cords across lawns, driveways or traffic areas. Power for all outdoor lighting should be supplied by permanent weatherproof wiring installed by a professional electrician.
Before using a fireplace, have the chimney inspected by a professional for proper installation, cracks, blockages (bird nests), leaks or creosote build up. Creosote is a chemical substance that forms when wood burns; it accumulates in chimneys and can cause a chimney fire if not removed.
• Be sure to open the flue for adequate ventilation when using the fireplace.
• Always use a fire screen, and burn only material appropriate for fireplaces. Never burn trash or paper in a fireplace. Burning paper can float up the chimney and onto a home’s roof and can cause a fire.
• Remove ashes from the fireplace in a metal container and store them somewhere outside your home, and have a professional inspect and clean your fireplace, chimney or stovepipe annually.
For more information about fire safety, visit the CAL FIRE website at www.fire.ca.gov or call the Siskiyou Unit at 842-3516.