The following tips are from Officer K. A. Sodimu of the Metropolitan Police Department.
With common sense, you can make sure tragedy does not come between you and the festive holiday you have planned. Follow these fire prevention tips to help you and your family have a safe and happy Thanksgiving.
¨ Keep your family and overnight guests safe with a working smoke detector on every level of the house, in every bedroom, and in the halls adjacent to the bedrooms. Test smoke detectors monthly and replace batteries at least twice a year.
¨ Overnight guests should be instructed on the fire escape plan and designated meeting place for your home.
¨ Have a fire extinguisher available not more than 10 feet from the stove, on the exit side of the room.
¨ A 2-1/2 lb. class ABC multi-purpose dry chemical extinguisher is recommended. Know how to use your fire extinguisher.
¨ Start holiday cooking with a clean stove and oven.
¨ Keep the kitchen off-limits to young children and adults that are not helping with food preparations to lessen the possibility of kitchen mishaps.
¨ When cooking, do not wear clothing with loose sleeves or dangling jewelry. The clothing can catch on fire and the jewelry can catch on pot handles, causing spills and burns.
¨ Cook on the back burners when possible and turn pot handles in so they don't extend over the edge of the stove.
¨ Never leave cooking unattended. If you must leave the kitchen while cooking, turn off the stove or have someone else watch what is being cooked.
¨ Keep Thanksgiving decorations and kitchen clutter away from sources of direct heat.
¨ Candles are often part of holiday decorations. Candles should never be left burning when you are away from home, or after going to bed. Candles should be located where children will not be tempted to play with them, and where guests will not accidentally brush against them. The candle holder should be completely noncombustible and difficult to knock over. The candle should not have combustible decorations around it.
¨ If smoking is allowed inside, provide guests with large, deep ashtrays and check them frequently. After guests leave, check inside and under upholstery and in trash cans for cigarette butts that may be smoldering.
..Watch your guest when drinking, if you feel that they have had too much to drink, Call a cab, designate a driver; call a friend; stay at your hotel or home ... but please don't drink and drive. And don't let your friends, either. Always celebrate responsibly! Be educated. Make more informed decisions after drinking - and help your friends and family make them too.