Upstate fire dept. offers Thanksgiving safety tips; prepares for holiday calls

Local News

REIDVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – Thanksgiving is now only days away and soon many families will be gathering to celebrate.

The chances are, you may be inside of a kitchen at some point during Thanksgiving – preparing meals or enjoying company. Before you spice things up, officials are urging you to keep your safety in mind.

“During the holidays, sometimes we have an uptick in calls and it can either be fire or medical related,” said Reidville Fire Department Chief Patrick Evatt.

From fires to medical calls, Chief Evatt said he has seen it all in the Reidville area during the holidays.

“Sometimes there’s lots of accidents from people having too much fun on the holidays,” said Evatt. “The biggest thing we do is we are here all the time and we are always ready. These guys train every day and they are ready to go.”

The National Fire Protection Association said the number one cause of house fires is unattended cooking. That is why officials’ advise you to keep an eye on your food preparation at all times this holiday season.

“When you are cooking in the kitchen, you should always have a kitchen-type fire extinguisher handy,” said Evatt. “Never leave things unattended, you know, especially for a long period of time.” 

According to a study by the University of Illinois, at least 46,000,000 turkeys are consumed each Thanksgiving. Many of those turkeys are prepared in various ways, including a deep dryer.

The NFPA says, deep fryer fires case an average of five deaths, 60 injuries and more than $15,000,000 in property damage each year.

“With the frying of the turkeys, it’s not a good idea to do it inside or under your car port, in your garage and in an enclosed space. It needs to be outside,” explained Evatt.

Officials are also urging you to make sure electrical cords are kept away from liquids and out of reach from children.

“You know, just use some common sense and be safe,” said Evatt.

Outside of the kitchen, officials say to be mindful of your health. The holidays are a time when stress can pile up on one’s place, leading to an increase in medical emergency calls as well.

Whether it is a holiday or not, the Reidville Fire Department says they are always ready to respond in the event an emergency arises.

Here is the National Fire Protection’s top ten safe practice list for the holidays:

  • Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stove top 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 three 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 knives out of the 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.
  • Keep the floor clear so you don’t trip over kids, toys, pocketbooks or bags.
  • Make sure your smoke alarms are working. Test them by pushing the test button.

Here are some additional Thanksgiving safety tips provided by the American Red Cross:

  • Move items that can burn away from the stove. This includes dishtowels, bags, boxes, paper and curtains. Also keep children and pets at least three feet away.
  • Avoid wearing loose clothing or dangling sleeves while cooking.
  • Keep a pan lid or a cookie sheet nearby. Use it to cover the pan if it catches on fire. This will put out the fire. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.
  • Turn pot handles to the back of the stove, so no one bumps them or pulls them over.
  • Use a timer to remind yourself that the stove or oven is on. Check the kitchen before going to bed or leaving home to ensure all stoves, ovens and small appliances are turned off.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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