Henrico Fire offers fire prevention tips during holiday season

From the kitchen to the holiday decorations in your living room, families can take steps to prevent fires
As families prepare to make their Thanksgiving meals and put up their holiday decorations this week, Henrico Fire wants to make sure everyone is safe and doing
Published: Nov. 22, 2022 at 5:38 PM EST
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HENRICO, Va. (WWBT) - As families prepare to make their Thanksgiving meals and put up their holiday decorations this week, Henrico Fire wants to make sure everyone is safe and doing all they can to prevent fires from starting in their homes.

Henrico Battalion Chief Doug Reynolds demonstrated the steps people should take in their kitchen before preparing their Thanksgiving feasts.

First, Reynolds suggests clearing the area around your stovetop before cooking.

“No boxes. No, no roll of paper towels right here, so anything if you get a little flash fire, it’s not going to spread to the next thing,” Reynolds told NBC12.

Reynolds also said people should never leave their stoves unattended as they’re cooking. If a fire does spark, Reynolds said, don’t panic.

“Try to turn the stove off, if you can, and just a matter of putting a lid on there is going to help put that fire out,” he said. “If you happen to have a pan, you know, just going like that is going to help smother it out.”

Henrico Batallion Chief Doug Reynolds walks through what people should do if a fire starts on...
Henrico Batallion Chief Doug Reynolds walks through what people should do if a fire starts on their stove top.(Source;NBC12 | NBC12)

Reynolds also said you should always have your fire extinguisher ready.

“When you go to use it, always have your back to the exit,” Reynolds said. “Try to get the base of the fire out.”

Reynolds also suggests cleaning out the grease from your oven and getting a deep pan for your turkey.

“There’s juices that are going to come out, and you don’t want them to overflow,” Reynolds said.

The start of the holiday season also means decorating the house, which includes putting up the Christmas tree.

“As a general rule, the artificial trees tend to be safer,” Reynolds said.

Reynolds said you should follow these steps if you go with a live tree.

“Test the needles if you get a handful of needles, not your tree. If you kind of bang it or shake it, and all of them start falling off, that tree is too dry,” he said. “When you get it home, put a fresh cut on it and put it in a bucket of water.”

Reynolds also said you should keep your tree 36 inches away from a heat source, including floor vents.

“You don’t want that floor vent blowing up through your tree because it’s going to start to dry it out prematurely,” he said.

Before you put up your holiday lights, Reynolds also suggests inspecting the bulbs and checking on fray wires.

Reynolds also said you shouldn’t connect your extension cords to one another, which he calls “daisy-chaining.”

“These things can get easily overheated and catch on fire,” he said.

If you light a candle, Reynolds said to use the 12-inch circle of safety to keep it away from flammable items.

If you can, Reynolds suggests using a battery-operated candle and ensuring you have a working smoke detector in your home.