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Precautions help prevent holiday fires

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POSTED: December 17, 2013 10:00 p.m.

It’s true that there’s no place like home for the holidays. With temperatures dropping, it’s nice to bundle up with family around a fire to enjoy some seasonal cheer. However, the open hearths, candles and holiday cooking at this time of year increase the risk of house fires.
According to data from the United States Fire Administration, an estimated 2,000 Thanksgiving fires in residential buildings occur annually in the United States, resulting in an estimated average of five deaths, 25 injuries and $21 million in property damage.
Here are five cooking-safety tips from the Liberty County Emergency Management Agency:
• Have smoke alarms on every level of the home, outside each sleeping area and in every bedroom. Test smoke alarms monthly and replace them if they are 10 years old or older.
• Never leave cooking food unattended, and keep a lid nearby to smother small fires in pans, such as grease fires. Be particularly careful with oil-based turkey fryers, which present numerous fire and burn hazards.
• Don’t wear loose sleeves while working over hot stove burners; they can melt, ignite or catch on the handles of pots and pans, spilling hot oil and other liquids.
• Have a “kid-free zone” of at least 3 feet around the stove and areas where hot foods and drinks are prepared or carried.
• Plug cooking appliances directly into an electrical outlet. Never use an extension cord for a cooking appliance. It can overload the circuit and cause a fire.
For more information on holiday safety, call the EMA at 368-2201 or email mike.hodges@libertycountyga.com.

 

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