With the holiday season upon us, we are entering one of the most festive times of the year. But it can also be a dangerous time of the year.
Red Deer Emergency Services is urging everyone to pay special attention when cooking and to drink responsibly. Provincial statistics reveal that careless cooking is the number one cause of fires and the second leading cause of fatal fires.
“The hustle and bustle of the holidays can dramatically increase your risk of having a fire,” said Fire Prevention Officer Shane Dussault. “All too often, fires are started by unattended cooking and in many cases alcohol is involved.”
Smoking is another leading cause of fires during the holiday season.
“Make sure to extinguish cigarettes in large, deep ashtrays – not in plant pots that may contain peat moss or shredded bark, which can easily ignite,” said Dussault. “Ashes should be emptied in a metal container – not the garbage can – and put outside.”
Red Deer Emergency Services is also reminding everyone about the law requiring working smoke alarms. Take a few minutes to test your smoke alarms and make sure everyone in the home knows exactly what to do if the alarms sound in an emergency. Develop and practice a home escape plan with everyone in the home.
Enjoy a fire safe holiday season by following these tips:
- Stay in the kitchen when cooking. Cooking is a major cause of home fires, so don’t leave the kitchen if there is something cooking on the stove. If a pot catches fire, don’t try to move it. Cover the pot with a lid to smother the flames and turn off the burner.
- Keep things that can burn, such as cooking utensils and paper towels, a safe distance from the stove as they can easily ignite if they are too close.
- Cigarettes can smoulder among upholstered items for hours before igniting. Check sofas and chairs for cigarettes that may have fallen between the cushions. Provide large, deep ashtrays for smokers.
- Drink responsibly and keep an eye on others in your household. Excessive alcohol consumption is a contributing factor in many residential fires.
- Before going to bed, make sure all cigarettes are properly extinguished and the stove is turned off.
- Install and maintain working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms outside all sleeping areas of the home. Develop and practice a home escape plan with everyone in the home.
For more information, please contact:
Fire Prevention Officer
The City of Red Deer
Communications & Strategic Planning
The City of Red Deer