From Smyrna Fire Rescue
Happy Holidays from all of us at Smyrna Fire Rescue. We hope that you have a safe holiday season.
The following are some fire and safety tips that will help you to ensure that your holiday season is as safe and enjoyable as possible.
• If you are using a live tree, it should be as freshly cut as possible when brought into the home.
• Before putting the tree up, make a fresh cut at the base of the trunk to allow for better water absorption.
• Be sure that the stand you are using is sturdy enough to prevent the tree from falling over.
• Keep the tree watered to help prevent the needles from shedding.
• Place trees away from heat sources.
• Do not block the exits from your home with the tree or gifts.
• Remove the tree as soon as possible after the holidays. Most fires that involve dried out Christmas trees occur around New Year’s Day.
• Buy lights that are approved by a national testing lab such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL).
• Use the lights where they are designed to be used. Do not use outdoor lights indoors.
• Outdoor lights should be fastened with hangars, not staples or nails.
• Outdoor lights should be placed on a ground fault interrupter circuit when possible.
• When replacing bulbs, use only the wattage specified by the manufacturer.
• Unplug all lights prior to going to bed.
• Use as few extension cords as possible.
• When using extension cords, do not run them under rugs or over sharp objects that may damage the insulation.
• Replace any light sets or extension cords that are worn or cracked.
• Do not connect too many light sets together. Follow the instructions of the manufacturer. Connecting too many light sets together can cause overheating.
• Store matches and lighters out of children’s reach.
• Try to avoid using open flames if possible.
• Decorative candles should be placed in sturdy holders and on surfaces where they will not tip over.
• Place candles above where children or pets may knock them over.
• Keep open flames away from combustible materials such as draperies, Christmas Trees, or stockings.
• Do not leave open flames unattended.
• Extinguish all open flames prior to leaving the house or going to bed.
• Have the fireplace inspected and cleaned by a reputable chimney sweep each year prior to use.
• Burn only well seasoned, dry wood in your fireplace.
• Do not use your fireplace to burn wrapping paper or trash.
• Extinguish all fires before leaving or going to bed.
• Young children are often fascinated with fire. Keep them away from the fireplace.
• Check all smoke detectors in your home to ensure that they are operational.
• Do not be tempted to borrow smoke detector batteries for toys or other appliances.
• Batteries should be changed twice a year when you change your clock settings for Daylight Savings Time.
• There should be at least one smoke detector on every level of your home.
• Consider a smoke detector or carbon monoxide detector as a gift this year. They are inexpensive and make excellent stocking stuffers.
• Contact your local fire station for information regarding smoke detectors.
• Keep your stove and oven clean.
• Wear clothing with fitted sleeves while cooking.
• Keep long hair pulled up while cooking.
• Always watch food while cooking.
• Use potholders when handling hot cookware.
• Keep pot handles turned away from the edge of the counter to prevent a child from pulling the pot off the stove.
• Be sure to develop and practice escape routes from your home with children. Information on escape planning is available at your local fire station.
• Always secure your child in a proper restraining device when traveling in a car. Do not be tempted to make a short trip without proper restraint. Most car accidents occur within 5 miles of your home.
• Consider taking a CPR or first aid class. Information on these classes is available through the American Red Cross or the American Heart Association.
Turkey Frying Tips
• Hot Oil Cooker Set Up
• Place fryer on a flat stable surface in an open, low-traffic area away from all walls, fences or other structures.
• Never use fryer in, on or under a garage, breezeway, carport or any structure, such as a wooden deck, that can catch fire.
• Keep children and pets away from fryer during and after use as the oil can remain hot for hours.
• Keep the fryer in full view while the burner is on
• Make sure there is at least two feet of space between the liquid propane tank and fryer burner.
• Place the liquid propane gas tank and fryer so that any winds blows the heat of the fryer away from the gas tank.
◦ Cooking Process
◦ Follow the manufacturer’s cooking instructions, including the amount of oil needed to fry the turkey.
◦ Check the oil temperature frequently. Never allow oil to exceed 375 degrees F.
◦ If oil begins to smoke, immediately turn off the gas supply because the oil is overheated.
◦ Completely thaw and dry the turkey before adding it to the hot oil. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends 24 hours thawing time for every 4 to 5 pounds of turkey. Partially frozen or wet turkeys can produce excessive hot oil splatter when the poultry is added to hot oil.
◦ Follow the manufacturers instructions to determine the proper amount of oil to add.
◦ Cover bare skin when adding or removing food. Always use cooking mitts.
◦ Use only cookware and accessories designed for frying turkeys; never use glassware, ceramic or plastic cookware.
◦ Raise and lower food slowly to reduce splatter and avoid burns.
◦ If a fire occurs, immediately call 911. Do not attempt to extinguish the fire with water. An operable, dry-chemical fire extinguisher may, in some circumstances, contain the fire.
▪ After Cooking
▪ Never move the cooker or pot while in use or while hot.
▪ Allow the oil to cool completely before removing it from the pot.