As you prepare to celebrate the upcoming holidays, Travis County Emergency Services District #2 (the Pflugerville Fire Department) encourages everyone in Wells Branch to put safety at the top of the gift list! Thanksgiving is the #1 day of the year for home cooking fires, followed by Christmas Day and Christmas Eve. Here’s what you can do to help keep your home a place of joy this holiday season:
Use a Timer—It’s easy to forget you have the stove or oven on, especially once you sit down to enjoy your feast. Always use a timer to remind you to turn things off.
Stay with the Stove—Never leave your house unattended when you have food cooking in the oven – not even a ham or turkey! And always stay in the kitchen whenever you are cooking on the stovetop. Keep the handles of your pots and pans turned back away from the edge of the stove so they aren’t knocked or pulled down. Even when the stove is off but especially when it’s on, keep the area around the stove clear of flammable items such as hot pads, paper towels, cookbooks, decorations, and notes/cards.
Keep Kids Back—Always keep children at least 3 feet away from a hot stovetop. Move regular and electric knives well out of their reach. Don’t let them too close to hot dishes or liquids such as gravy and coffee.
Caution with Cords—Be sure cords from electric knives, coffee makers, plate warmers, and mixers are not dangling off of the counter. Adults may accidentally snag these dangerous items, and children may be tempted to pull them down.
Avoid Turkey Fryers—The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) warns that turkey fryers using cooking oil are not safe even for well-informed and careful home cooks. Turkey fryers use a lot of cooking oil at high temperatures, and there’s a significant danger that hot oil will be released during cooking. Additionally, the burners that heat the oil can ignite spilled oil.
Light it Right—Some holiday lights are only safe for indoor or outdoor use, but NOT both. When hanging holiday lights, use clips – not nails – to hang lights so the cords do not get damaged. If you need to use a ladder, work with a partner on the ground. Replace any string of lights that has worn or broken cords or any loose bulb connections. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the maximum number of light strands to connect.
Take Care with Candles—Keep lit candles away from centerpieces, decorations, curtains, and other things that can burn. Locate them away from windows and doors so your emergency exits are not blocked if objects catch fire. Always blow out candles when you leave the room or go to bed. Try using battery-operated candles instead!