Interview with Firefighter Michael McLeieer, president and founder of E.S.C.A.P.E. Inc. on the WKZO Morning Show – 11/24/2023 7:50 a.m.
When most people think about the holidays, family festivals and good cheer with friends likely come to mind. What few of us consider is that the holidays also present an increased risk of home fires. Home fires during the holiday season often involve Candles, Christmas trees, holiday decorations and lights. By taking some preventative steps, using common sense and following some simple rules, most home fires can be prevented during the holidays and beyond.
- Candles are widely used in homes throughout the holidays; December is the peak month for home candle fires.
- More than half of all candle fires start because the candles had been too close to things that could catch fire.
- When burning candles, keep them at least 1-foot away from anything that can burn (create a 1-foot circle of safety), and remember to blow them out when you leave the room or go to bed.
- Use candle holders that are sturdy, won’t tip over and are placed on uncluttered surfaces. Avoid using candles in the bedroom, where two of five U.S. candle fires begin, or other areas where people may fall asleep.
- Never leave a child or pets alone in a room with a burning candle.
- Consider using flameless candles, which look and smell like real candles.
Christmas Trees, Holiday Decorations and Lights
- U.S. fire departments annually respond to an average of 250 structure fires caused by Christmas trees. Nearly half of them are caused by electrical problems, and one in four resulted from a heat source that’s too close to the tree.
- If you have an artificial tree, be sure it’s labeled, certified or identified by the manufacturer as fire-retardant. If you choose a fresh tree, make sure the green needles don’t fall off when touched; before placing it in the stand, cut 1-2” from the base of the trunk. Add water to the tree stand and be sure to water it daily.
- Make sure your tree is not blocking an exit and is at least three feet away from any heat source, like fireplaces, space heaters, radiators, candles and heat vents or lights.
- Use lights that have the label of an independent testing laboratory, and make sure you know whether they are designed for indoor or outdoor use. Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords, or loose bulb connections. Connect no more than three strands of mini-string sets and a maximum of 50 bulbs for screw-in bulbs.
- Plug decorations directly into outlets. Avoid using and overloading extension cords and power strips.
- Never use lit candles to decorate the tree.
- Always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving the home or going to bed.
Give the Gift of Safety – smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, escape ladders.
E.S.C.A.P.E. Fire Safety reminds you by following these simple yet important safety tips, everyone in your family will have a “fire-safe” holiday season!
For more holiday fire safety tips, visit www.escapeinc.org or call toll free 1-844-978-4400.
Other Holiday fire safety tips links:
Thanksgiving is all about the food, and the kitchen can be a chaotic place as families get all the goods ready for the feast. This also makes Thanksgiving the most common time for cooking fires; when there are more than double the average of any other day.
To avoid disaster this holiday season, E.S.C.A.P.E. Fire Safety offers a few simple tips so families can enjoy time with loved ones and keep themselves safer from fire.
If you are roasting your turkey, make sure you set a timer. This way, you won’t forget about the bird as you watch the parade or football game.
Deep frying a turkey may be delicious but it also can be dangerous. If frying a turkey:
- Use a fryer with thermostat controls. This will ensure the oil does not become overheated.
- Thaw your turkey completely. Ice on the bird will cause the oil to splatter.
- Don’t overfill the pot with oil. The oil will overflow when adding the turkey causing a fire hazard.
- Keep children and pets at least 3 feet away from the fryer to protect against burn injuries.
- Also, always use the fryer outdoors on a sturdy, level surface away from things that can burn.
Stuffing and Potatoes:
- Stand by the stove when boiling potatoes or frying onions for the stuffing. It’s best to stay in the kitchen when frying, boiling, or broiling. It’s easier to catch spills or hazardous conditions before they become a fire.
- Keep the area around the stove clear of food packaging, paper towels, and dishcloths; anything that can burn.
- Be sure to clean up any spills as they happen.
- Be prepared! Keep a large pan lid or baking sheet handy in case you need to smother a pan fire.
- Turn pot handles towards the back of the stove so you don’t bump them.
By following these safety tips, families can have a safe, fire-free Thanksgiving!
Thanksgiving Day is a time to spend with family and friends. It’s also the peak day of the year for home fires. Michael McLeieer, president and founder of E.S.C.A.P.E. Inc. spoke with Ken Lanphear on the WKZO Morning Show on Tuesday 11/21/2023 at 7:50 a.m. and shared several tips to prevent a home fire.