MACOMB, IL – With the holidays fast approaching, the Macomb Fire Department has released a public service announcement to assist all residents in being fire smart this holiday season, containing the following reminders to help the community to be mindful to ensure a fire safe holiday.
- When setting up a live Christmas tree at home, place it away from fireplaces and radiators. Since heated rooms dry live trees out rapidly and can catch on fire easily, be sure to water your Christmas tree every day. Place the tree out of the way of traffic and do not block doorways.
- Inspect holiday lights each year before you put them up. Throw away light strands with frayed or pinched wires. Do not overload electrical outlets and don’t forget to turn off all your holiday lights before going to bed or leaving your home.
- Place Chanukah lamps on sturdy nonflammable surfaces, at least three feet away from flammable materials and in a location where they cannot be knocked over or something can fall on top of them. Do not leave children unattended in a room with lit candles and do not display lighted candles in windows or near exits in case you need these to escape. Never leave a lit Chanukah lamp unattended and keep matches, lighters and lit objects away from children.
- When cooking, roll up your sleeves and avoid wearing loose fitting clothing that can easily catch fire. Do not reach over burners and other hot surfaces. Keep all flammable items (dishtowels, bags, boxes, curtains, etc.) at least three feet from the range top. Always turn pot handles inward to prevent young children from pulling down a hot pan. Remain in the kitchen and keep an eye on the stove or oven. Unattended cooking remains a leading cause of home fires. If there’s an oven fire, keep the door closed. Turn off the oven and keep the door closed until it’s cool. Keep a large pan lid or baking sheet handy in case you need to smother a pan fire and keep children and pets away from the stove.
- When frying, it is important to keep children away from the stove and other cooking elements. Use the back burners so they are out of the reach of children. When reheating fried foods, be careful of the oil that is in the food as it reheats, since it can cause severe burns. If you see any smoke, or grease starts to boil, turn the burner off. In the event of a grease fire, smother the flames with a lid only if it is possible. Do not use water to extinguish a grease fire as this will just increase the size of the fire. Do Not Hesitate to Immediately Call 911.
- Only use a turkey fryer outdoors. Make sure that it the fryer is on a sturdy surface, away from things that can burn.
- Keep all appliances away from the edge of the counter and all wires safely out of reach, especially when children are around. Leave ample space around any appliances to allow air to circulate and minimize the buildup of heat.
- Heat your home safely. Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from fireplaces, wood stoves, portable heaters and radiators. When you leave a room or go to bed, turn heaters off or unplug them. Portable generators should NEVER be used indoors and should only be refueled outdoors and in well ventilated areas.
- PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU HAVE WORKING SMOKE ALARMS AND CARBON MONOXIDE DECTECTORS IN YOUR HOME. At a minimum, smoke alarms should be located outside each separate sleeping area and on every floor of one’s home. Place a carbon monoxide detector outside each sleeping area in the home.
- Be aware of what you will need to do if your clothes are on fire. Review, the principles of “STOP, DROP and ROLL” which are simple:
- STOP – do not run if your clothes catch on fire.
- DROP – to the ground and cover your face.
- ROLL – continue to roll to smother the fire.
- Always be mindful of what you will do in the event of a fire to escape safely. Identify two exits when you enter an unfamiliar building. The way you entered the building may not be the quickest or safest escape route in an emergency. Do not use elevators in a fire emergency; use the stairs. Look for standard fire protection equipment such as pull stations, fire extinguishers, posted evacuation plans, etc.
Says Fire Chief Dan Meyer, “The leading causes of holiday fires includes cooking, candles, electrical short circuits in decorative lights, and combustible holiday decorations. Our number one priority at the Macomb Fire Department is keeping our residents safe and hope these tips help them this holiday season.”
Fire Safety Information can be found by visiting www.cityofmacomb.com/fire-department/ under the Fire Prevention Material heading.