Give the Gift of Holiday Fire Safety
As you celebrate the upcoming holidays, Travis County Emergency Services District #2 (the Pflugerville Fire Department) encourages everyone in Pflugerville to put safety at the top of the gift list! Thanksgiving is the #1 day of the year for home cooking fires, followed by Christmas Day and Christmas Eve. Here’s what you can do to help keep your home a place of joy this season:
- Use a Timer. It’s easy to forget you have the stove or oven on, especially once you sit down to enjoy your feast. Always use a timer to remind you to turn things off.
- Stay with the Stove. Never leave your house unattended when you have food cooking in the oven – not even a ham or turkey! Always stay in the kitchen whenever you are cooking on the stovetop. Even when the stove is off but especially when it’s on, be sure keep the area around the stove CLEAR of any flammable items such as hot pads, paper towels, cookbooks, decorations, and notes/cards. Watch this short PSA from the Fire Department and Pflugerville High School: https://tinyurl.com/ycfze75k
- Turn Back Handles. Whether you’re laboring over a holiday feast or whipping up a weekday dinner, always turn back the handles of your pots/pans away from the edge of the stove. This way small children aren’t tempted to pull them down, and adults or pets don’t accidentally knock them down. Also, use care to keep kids back from hot liquids like gravy, soup, and coffee.
- Avoid Turkey Fryers. Turkey fryers using cooking oil are not generally safe, even for careful cooks. Choose a smaller turkey (up to 10 pounds). Don't overfill the pot with oil. Make sure the turkey is completely thawed and patted dry before deep frying. Only use turkey fryers on a flat surface in the open, well ventilated outdoors. Keep fryers off decks, out of garages and a safe distance away from trees and other structures.
- Keep Your Smoke Alarms Working. If a fire does start, the lives of your family and houseguests may rely on a smoke alarm to alert you in time to escape. Remember to push the test button on all smoke and carbon monoxide alarms every month, replace alkaline batteries at least once a year, and replace any alarm older than 10 years. For more information on alarms, please visit http://www.pflugervillefire.org/faqs/
- Have a Fire Escape Plan. Your entire household including any overnight guests should know at least two ways of escaping every room of the home, in case one way is blocked by fire. Be sure that windows open easily and doors aren’t blocked and be prepared to crawl low under smoke. Review where you will all meet outside in case of a fire, known as your "safe meeting place."