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Gainesville Fire Rescue, NFPA offer fire safety tips during holidays

Unattended cooking leading contributing factor in house fires, fire deaths

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. – While the holidays are a time of celebration, cooking, decorating and entertaining, they're also a time of increased fire risk.

Gainesville Fire Rescue and the National Fire Protection Association are urging people to keep safety in mind when preparing meals.

Here are safety tips to follow this holiday season:

  • Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stovetop so you can keep an eye on the food.
  • Stay in the home when cooking your turkey and check on it frequently.
  • Keep children away from the stove. The stove will be hot and kids should stay 3 feet away.
  • Make sure kids stay away from hot food and liquids. The steam or splash from vegetables, gravy or coffee could cause serious burns.
  • Keep the floor clear so you don’t trip over kids, toys, pocketbooks or bags.
  • Keep knives out of reach of children.
  • Be sure electric cords from an electric knife, coffee maker, plate warmer or mixer are not dangling off the counter within easy reach of a child.
  • Keep matches and utility lighters out of the reach of children, up high in a locked cabinet.
  • Never leave children alone in room with a lit candle.
  • Make sure your smoke alarms are working. Test them by pushing the test button.

Thanksgiving Day is one of the peak days for home cooking fires, followed by Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, according to fire officials. Unattended cooking is the leading contributing factor in cooking fires and fire deaths.

Following fire safety tips and using caution while in the kitchen can put people at less risk of a fire incident and enjoy time with loved ones while preparing a feast.