Friday July 19th, 2024 10:49AM

Hall County Fire Marshal offers safety tips for holidays

By Caleb Hutchins Assistant News Director

With cold weather, Thanksgiving and the Christmas season all coming right around the corner, local officials are offering fire prevention tips.

Hall County Fire Marshal Michael Vieira spoke on WDUN's "The Drive at 5" Tuesday. He said that when cold weather starts to creep in, some people turn to space heaters to keep warm.

He said those can create safety hazards.

"A lot of people tend to have heaters too close to items that can catch on fire, furniture for instance," Vieira said. "We recommend having three feet of space around the heater so that things won't catch on fire."

Vieira added that children and pets can be at risk of getting burned or knocking over a heater, causing a fire if they get too close.

With Thanksgiving now just over a week away, Vieira also said it's important to take precautions to avoid cooking fires. Data from the National Fire Protection Association shows that cooking fires in the United States are three times as common on Thanksgiving Day compared to any other day of the year.

"The main reason and cause for cooking fires is unattended cooking," Vieira said. "People will have items cooking on the stove and then they'll walk away, they'll take a phone call, they'll deal with the kids and they think they're only gone for a minute or two, but in actuality they're gone for 10 or 15 minutes. Things boil over, things catch on fire and then we have a problem."

Vieira said most cooking fires happen on unattended stove-tops, but he also said there are dangers with people deep-frying turkeys for Thanksgiving.

"A lot of people don't read the directions. They'll overfill the fryers with oil, and then when they put the turkey in, it spills over, and then the oil catches on fire," Vieira said. "People will put a turkey that is not completely thawed into the fryer, which can cause an explosion."

With the Christmas season immediately following Thanksgiving, that means many people will begin putting up Christmas lights to celebrate. Vieira said there are some precautions that need to be taken to minimize the threat of injury or electrical fire.

"If you're using lights outside, make sure that they're made to be outside. They have indoor lights, they have outdoor lights, then they have some that you can use indoor and outdoor," Vieira said. "You don't want to broken bulbs with the exposed wiring, and check the wiring as well to make sure the covering is there, so there's no exposed wires."

Vieira said more fire safety tips can be found on the Hall County Government website.

  • Associated Categories: Homepage, Local/State News
  • Associated Tags: hall county, Thanksgiving, Christmas, fire safety, Hall County Fire Marshal's office, Hall County Fire Rescue
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