The American Red Cross urges residents to take extra precautions with cooking and decorating around the holidays.
“Cooking is the leading cause of home fires, and as people are cooking, entertaining, and stringing lights this holiday season, we’re urging that they take safety measures to ensure that their homes and loved ones are safe from the threat of fire,” said Kathleen Weis, Chief Executive Officer for the Red Cross Capital Region.
Christmas Day, Christmas Eve and Thanksgiving are the top three days for cooking fires, according to the National Fire Prevention Association. Nationally, the Red Cross responds to a disaster on average every eight minutes, and the vast majority of them are home fires.
The Red Cross has some simple steps everyone can follow to prevent home fires around the holidays:
- Test your smoke alarms.
- Check food regularly while cooking and remain in the home while cooking. Use a timer as a reminder that the stove or oven is on.
- Enforce a “kid-free zone” in the cooking area and make children stay at least three feet away from the stove.
- Keep anything that can catch fire away from the stove, oven or any appliance in the kitchen that generates heat.
- Clean cooking surfaces on a regular basis to prevent grease buildup.
- Purchase a fire extinguisher to keep in the kitchen. Contact the local fire department to receive training on the proper use of extinguishers.
- Choose decorations that are flame resistant or flame retardant.
- Keep children, pets and decorations away from lit candles.
- Keep matches and lighters up high in a locked cabinet.
- Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Connect no more than three strands of mini light sets and a maximum of 50 bulbs for screw-in bulbs. Read manufacturer’s instructions for the number of LED strands to connect. Some strings of lights are only for indoor or outdoor use, but not both.
- Use clips, not nails, to hang lights so the cords do not get damaged.
- Keep decorations away from windows and doors.
People should also download the free American Red Cross First Aid app, which provides instant access to information on handling the most common first aid emergencies. The apps can be downloaded from the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red Cross or by going to redcross.org/mobileapps.
People can test their knowledge on how to prevent home fires by taking the Fire Safety Quiz, and can learn more about fire prevention by visiting redcross.org.
And we’re off! Holiday season is upon us and it’s time once again for family, football, good cheer, yada yada yada. What we’re REALLY excited about is all the FOOD! We’ve been thinking about it since last year. Turkey, stuffing, pies, something clever you found on Pinterest….NOW IS THE TIME!!
But before you spark up that flame thrower to try out the latest cooking technique, take a few minutes to understand the risks and take appropriate safety precautions. While singeing off your eyebrows may be a funny story down the road, that’s probably not how you and your family want to remember this time together. Continue reading
The American Red Cross Capital Region is honoring community members who have performed extraordinary acts of courage. These Heroes from Sacramento and Yolo Counties will be recognized at the 13th Annual Heroes Luncheon to be held on Friday, December 13th at UC Davis Freeborn Hall in Davis, beginning at 11:00am.
As a community leader in emergency preparedness, prevention and response, the Red Cross Capital Region Chapter is proud to honor the following Heroes of Sacramento and Yolo Counties, who have taken action in a time of crisis to help others and show extraordinary human compassion:
~Avoid injuries, costume mishaps, traffic accidents~
With Halloween right around the corner, the American Red Cross would like everyone to stay safe when they don their costumes and go out to Trick-or-Treat.
Halloween’s greatest hazards aren’t vampires and villains, but falls, costume mishaps and traffic accidents, so the Red Cross is offering the following tips to help make this Halloween safe: Continue reading
Clover Fire burning in Shasta County
It has been a busy few weeks around the state as wildfires have taken full advantage of the dry conditions, moving swiftly and placing communities in danger. In the Capital Region, the Rim Fire in Tuolumne County and the Clover Fire in Shasta/Tehama Counties have threatened homes and led to the opening of Red Cross evacuation shelters. Continue reading
Volunteers unload supplies at the Rim Fire shelter
For more than two weeks the Rim Fire has raged through the wooded terrain of Tuolumne County, fast becoming one of the largest wildfires in California history (as of this writing, the fire is the 4th largest recorded in California). The fire has ravaged the landscape, and sent smoke as far north as Canada. Continue reading