Red Cross offers fire safety tips

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - The American Red Cross has issued fire prevention tips. In the U.S., Thanksgiving is the peak day for cooking fires, 90 percent of which are caused by unattended cooking, according to the Red Cross.

Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen even for a short period of time, turn off the stove.

Check foods that are simmering, baking, roasting, or boiling regularly. Remain in the home while food is cooking, and use a timer as a reminder that items are on the stove.

Be alert.

Keep anything that can catch fire -- potholders, wooden utensils, food wrappers, towels or curtains -- away from the stove top.

Make sure shirt sleeves are out of the way when cooking. Wear tighter fitting clothing with shorter sleeves. 

Have a "kid-free zone" of at least 3 feet around the stove and areas where hot food or drink is prepared or carried.

Never hold a child while cooking, drinking or carrying hot foods or liquids.

Turn the handles of pots and pans on the stove inward to avoid accidents.

Keep pets off cooking surfaces and nearby countertops to prevent them from knocking things onto the burner.

Test smoke alarms by pushing the test button. Replace batteries at least once a year.

The Red Cross recommends taking these precautions year-round:

  • Keep items that can catch on fire at least 3 feet away from anything that gets hot, such as space heaters.
  • Never smoke in bed.
  • Talk to children regularly about the dangers of fire, matches and lighters and keep them out of reach.
  • Turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to sleep.

  Smoke Alarms

  • Install smoke alarms on each level of the home, including inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas. Test the detector monthly.
  • Replace the batteries in smoke alarms at least once a year. Every 10 years, replace the entire smoke alarm.

Make a Fire Escape Plan

  • Make sure all household members know two ways to escape from every room of your home.
  • Decide where to meet outside in case of fire.
  • Practice escaping from the home at least twice a year and at different times of the day. Practice waking up to smoke alarms, low crawling and meeting outside. Make sure everyone knows how to call 911.
  • Teach household members to stop, drop and roll if clothes should catch on fire.

For more information about fire safety and prevention, contact the Savannah Chapter at 912.651.5300 or visit

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