Keep your home safe from cooking, decorating fire hazards

POSTED: Wednesday, November 23, 2011 - 3:23pm
UPDATED: Friday, April 13, 2012 - 9:54am

WACO -- This time of year families are hustling around the kitchen to make sure their Thanksgiving feast is perfect.

But families aren't the only ones running around the kitchen, fire fighters are too.

"Thanksgiving is actually the busiest time for fire departments all over the country, mainly because of cooking," fire safety and prevention specialist Jeff Wilhelm said.

The main culprit? Turkey fryers.

"A lot of times they either put the turkey in frozen which is just like throwing water on a grease fire. It turns into steam eventually and pushes all that grease out, hits the flames, and ignites. Or, they put way too much grease in there," he said.

When you're cooking up your holiday meal, the fire department has a standard rule to follow called "three feet from the heat." It means that you keep anything that is flammable or combustible at least three feet away from a hot surface, including children and pets.

And when the decorations go up, look at the tag on the end of each strand of lights to see how many can safely be connected together.

"Cause what you got to remember is, that the very last strand and all the ones in between are going through the very first plug, and it's not designed to handle that much electricity," Wilhelm said.  

Which is to help make sure the lights don't spark, especially if they're on your holiday tree.

Target manager, Ivory Welcome said a lot of their artificial trees are flame resistant for safety.

But a flame retardant tree only guarantees a few years of fire resistance.

"The flame retardant actually wears off after a couple years. So if your tree is about 10 years old or even 5 years or older, a lot of times that retardant chemical has already dissipated," Wilhelm said.


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