Keep Your Home Fire-Free This Holiday Season With These Tips

LAKEWOOD – It’s all fun and games, until a fire breaks out. Holiday decorations and cooking are a common practice during the holiday season; however, they also pose a great fire risk.

That’s why the Lakewood Board of Fire Commissioners and the Lakewood Fire Department are providing residents with fire safety tips, to keep everyone’s home safe during the winter season.

Officials warn residents to be mindful of certain hazards, such as:

  • Place Chanukah lamps on sturdy nonflammable surfaces, away from flammable materials. You want these in a location where they cannot be knocked over or something can fall on top of them. Battery-operated flameless candles are a safer option, and can still look, smell and feel like real candles.
  • Do not leave children unattended in a room with lit candles and make sure to keep matches, lighters and lit objects away from children.
  • Don’t display lighted candles in windows or near exits in case you need these to escape. Never leave a lit Chanukah lamp or candle unattended.
  • When purchasing a live Christmas tree, check for freshness. A fresh tree is green, needles are hard to pull from branches and when bent between your fingers, needles do not break. The trunk butt of a fresh tree is sticky with resin, and when tapped on the ground, the tree should not lose many needles.
  • Place your tree away from fireplaces and radiators; heated rooms can dry live trees out rapidly, causing them to catch fire easily. Be sure to keep the stand filled with water. Place the tree out of the way of traffic and do not block doorways.
  • Inspect holiday lights each year. Light strands with frayed or pinched wires should be tossed. Do not overload electrical outlets.

While you are whipping up those holiday favorites in the kitchen, Lakewood fire officials also remind you practice caution:

When cooking, make sure to roll up your sleeves, try to avoid wearing loose fitting clothing that can easily catch fire, and avoid reaching over burners and other hot surfaces. You also want to keep flammable items such as dishtowels, curtains, etc. at away from the range top. Kids can be quick, so you always want to make sure pot handles are turned inward to prevent children from pulling down a hot pan. A big one to keep in mind: don’t leave the stove or oven unattended if cooking.

When frying, keep children away from the cooking area. Oil from fried foods can cause burns, so be careful! In the event of a grease fire, smother the flames with a lid only if it is possible. DO NOT use water to extinguish a grease fire! This will only make the grease fire worse.

In addition, keep all appliances away from the edge of the counter and all wires safely out of reach, especially when children are around. Leave ample space around any appliances to allow air to circulate and minimize the buildup of heat. Please make sure your appliances are U.L. compliant and in optimal condition. An appropriate U.L. approved heavy duty timer may be used with hotplates, crock pots, etc. Speak to your Rav, if you need further Halachic clarification on using timers on Shabbos.

In the event of an emergency: Do Not Hesitate to Immediately Call 911.

Some basic tips: Make sure you have working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Always remember to Stop, Drop, and Roll should your cloths catch on fire.

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