Holiday fire hazards aren't to toy with

Holiday fire hazards aren't to toy with

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), seven people die every day, on average, from a home fire.  During this time of year, you might be using that oven more and decorating your home with things that could increase your chances for starting a fire.

With all the buzz in a busy home during the holidays, it's easy to get distracted.  Murrells Inlet Garden City Fire Chief Norman Knight gives some pointers to keep your kitchen running safely.

Most importantly, he says to watch the kids around the burners.  Leaving pots on the stove, cooking unattended and not using lids while cooking are the some of the most common fire hazards.  Also, watch your timers.  If a timer is set incorrectly, or you decide to leave home with an oven on, that could lead to a problem.

When it comes to grease, Chief Knight said remember one thing: "Simple fix. Right before you do anything that involves grease, have a lid for your pot or your frying pan...have baking soda handy...anything but water.  Don't put water on a grease fire...all that does is spread it," he said.

When it comes to decorations, the more sources of heat you have, the increased chances of a fire.  Replace any string of lights with worn cords, broken cords or loose bulb connections.  The NFPA suggests to check lights to see if they're strictly for indoor or outdoor use.

Also, never place the tree in front of an exit and keep it at least three feet from a radiator, light, or other heat source.

Chief Knight agrees.  He said decorate with modern LED lights, that older light decorations are more likely to overheat.  He said to watch those gas fireplaces and disposing of fire wood, too.

"We had a call just this past weekend where they did that," Knight said. "We're seeing more and more gas fireplaces and gas logs...and while they don't have the potential so much to cause a problem, you have the potential for carbon monoxide problems in your home.  So make sure you have a carbon monoxide detector."

If you would like more information you can go to the NFPA's holiday fire prevention page here.

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