11/19/07 — Red Cross offers holiday safety tips

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Red Cross offers holiday safety tips

By News-Argus Staff
Published in News on November 19, 2007 1:46 PM

Everyone is busily preparing for the Thanksgiving holiday and safety is probably not the first thing on the list.

The Wayne County Chap-ter of the American Red Cross is urging people to be cautious in the kitchen and take action to prevent a home fire.

Executive Director Chuck Waller said that U.S. Fire Administration statistics indicate that Thanksgiving Day has more than doubled the number of home cooking fires than on any other day. More than 4,000 fires happen on that day.

"Unattended cooking is the leading cause of Thanksgiv-ing Day fires and it's easy to understand why," he said. "It's so easy to become distracted and lose track of what's happening in the kitchen when you are enjoying spending time with family and friends."

To prevent a kitchen fire, the Red Cross recommends that you keep potholders and food wrappers at least three feet away from heat sources while cooking.

In addition, stoves, ovens and ranges should be turned off if the responsible adult leaves the kitchen.

Also, set timers to keep track of the turkey and other food items that require extensive cooking times.

The Red Cross recommends that you follow the manufacturer's guidelines if you are using a turkey fryer this holiday season.

If you are entertaining guests, it's a good idea to designate a responsible family member to walk around the home and make sure that all candles and smoking materials are extinguished once guests leave.

Waller said the chapter responded to more than 38 home fires in Wayne County last year, providing the families with emergency assistance including food, shelter and clothing.

For more fire safety tips and preparedness information, call the chapter at 735-7201.