Prevent House Fires on Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving leads the day for home cooking fires.  Since the holiday is just days away, Newschannel 6 is looking out for you and your family with some safety tips.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, fire departments across the nation responded to 156,600 house fires between 2007 and 2011.  Those fires lead to 400 deaths, 5,080 injuries, and $852-million in property damage.

This is why safety in the kitchen is so important, especially where there is a lot of activity and people in your home.

“It's just that time of year when everyone's cooking,” the Assistant Fire Chief for the Wichita Falls Fire Department, Donald Hughes said, “You just got to pay attention and be careful.”

The most dangerous thing people do during the holiday is fry their turkey.  He said this is where most accidents happen.  So, if you plan to fry your turkey, do it outside and away from your house.  Also, make sure to thaw out the turkey and don't let the grease overflow.

Usually the first thing to catch fire is your clothing.  Hughes said you shouldn't wear loose clothing.  He also said you should pull back your hair if it's long.  Another good tip is to have a fire extinguisher close by.

“Have an extinguisher handy,” Hughes said, “Just be ready in case something does happen and don't fight the fire.  Call us and we'll come take care of it.”

A fire extinguisher lessens the risk of getting burned.

If you have kids, or are going to have children in your home, it's common for them to want to help.  Kids can always help, but make sure they are being safe and that you have a close eye on them.

“Keep the handles turned back away from the stove,” Hughes said.

Also make sure they don't put their hands on the oven because it's always hot while something is cooking.  Another tip, turn off the burners when you are done cooking.  Make sure to keep an eye on things you need, but also things that can easily catch fire.  This can include oven mitts wooden utensils, food packaging and hand towels.

If you have a smoke detector in your home, change the batteries.  The detector is the quickest way for everyone to be alerted so they can get out safely.

, Newschannel 6