MO fire marshal: Safety first for Thanksgiving, holiday season

Published: Nov. 17, 2017 at 3:40 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 17, 2017 at 5:46 PM CST
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(KFVS) - Missouri Fire Marshall Tim Beam has some facts to remember and tips to keep you safe from fire danger this holiday season.

Thanksgiving raises the potential for dangerous residential fires.

Some of the causes for these fires are turkey fryers, indoor cooking, decorations and festive candles.

Thanksgiving is the peak day of the year for home cooking fires, followed by Christmas Day and Christmas Eve.

Christmas Day is the peak for candle fires.

From 2009 to 2014, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 860 home fires per year caused by decorations and 210 fires started by Christmas trees.

About 20 percent of decoration fires start in the kitchen, 1 percent in the living room, family room or den.

Fire Marshall Bean offers these holiday fire safety tips:

  • Someone should remain in the kitchen when cooking on the stovetop and remain at home when cooking a turkey so you can check on it frequently.
  • Keep children away from the stove; arrange pans on the stovetop so handles face inward.
  • Be prepared to deal with potential cooking fires. Remember to never put water on a grease fire.
  • If using a turkey fryer, use it outdoors on a flat, level surface that is a safe distance from the house, garage, decks and trees.
  • Don't operate a turkey fryer in snow or rain.
  • Follow the manufacturer's instructions to avoid over filling.
  • Make sure the turkey is completely thawed and dried.
  • Turn off the burner before lowering the turkey into the oil. Once submerged, restart the burner.
  • Never leave the fryer unattended.
  • Keep children and pets away from the fryer.
  • Don't overload outlets, power strips or extension cords and never allow cords to dangle off kitchen counters or any other surface.
  • Avoid real candles for decorations and exercise basic safety when using candles. Never leave children alone in a room with a lit candle.
  • Never leave a lighted Christmas tree or other decorative lighting display unattended. Turn lights off when leaving or going to bed.
  • Inspect lights for exposed or frayed wires, loose connections, and broken sockets. Do not place electrical cords under a rug.
  • Natural cut trees always involve some fire risk. Choose a fresh tree and keep it watered.
  • Do not put the tree within three feet of a fireplace, space heater, radiator or heat vent.
  • Decorate with children in mind. Keep lights out of reach. Don't put ornaments with small parts or hooks, or that look like food, on lower branches.
  • Don't burn Christmas tree branches, treated wood, or wrapping paper in a home fireplace.

Fire Marshal Bean reminds everyone to check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and fire extinguishers.

Review home fire escape plans with guests and have at least two ways out of every room in the home.

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