Holiday Safety

The holiday season is quickly approaching, and the house chefs are warming up their family recipes and ovens. Home fires tend to increase during the holiday season, and The Broward Sheriff’s Office Department of Fire Rescue in Weston wants everyone to enjoy the holiday season safely. Following some important fire safety tips in your home can help keep your family safe during the holidays and throughout the year. 

Cooking fires are the leading cause of home fires and injuries. Most cooking fires occur the day before Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving day, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day. From baking to boiling, frying, or sautéing, following these fire safety tips while cooking will help to keep your holiday season fire safe. 

Always turn pot handles towards the back of the stove to prevent accidental injury. Avoid placing dish towels or pot holders near the stove to avoid them catching fire. Keep a three-foot, kid-free, safe zone away from any cooking appliance to ensure kids do not play near not surfaces.

 Watch What You Heat! 

A simple safety rhyme to remember is: When cooking on the stovetop – stay and watch your hot pot. If the oven is on, don’t be gone. In other words, never turn your back to the stove and stay in the kitchen while you cook. Always be prepared and have an extinguisher in easy reach. If you see smoke or fire on the stove, turn the burner off and cover the pan with a lid. Don’t try to use water or run with a flaming frying pan.  Similarly, if you see smoke coming from the oven, turn it off and keep the door closed.

From 2014-2018, an estimated 44% of house fires resulted from holiday decorations left too close to a heat source. These fires resulted in an annual average of 770 house fires, two deaths, 30 injuries, and 11 million dollars in property damage each year. If decorating is on your agenda this holiday season, be sure to follow these safety tips. Ensure decorations do not block any windows/doors. Check string lights to make sure cords are not worn or broken, and bulbs do not have any loose connections. Dry Christmas trees are a fire hazard, so be sure to water yours daily if you have one. Do not place any lit candles or other heat sources near a Christmas tree or anything else that can burn. Candles start more than 1/3 of fires started by decorations. Always be sure to blow out candles or consider using flameless candles as a safer alternative. Turn off all lights/decorations when leaving your home or going to bed. 

For more information, contact BSO Public Educator Melanie Brocato at 954-389-2090 or by email at [email protected]