Savannah experiencing an increase in house fire calls

Savannah experiencing an increase in house fire calls

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Now is the season that people come together and cook for family and friends, but this can also lead to kitchen fires if you don't follow the correct safety measures.

Monday afternoon the Southside Fire Department responded to a kitchen fire and luckily no one was hurt, but five people were displaced.

Officials say fires from cooking are the number one cause of fires throughout the country, especially during the holidays.

So if you're cooking, remember these simple but important tips:

  • No loose fitting clothes.
  • Rotate your pots so the handles aren't hanging over burners.
  • Don't leave food in the oven or on the stove while you're gone.
  • If you find yourself in this situation, don't use water. Because it can cause the fire to get worse. You should use a standard fire extinguisher.

"We ask that you don't necessarily locate them under the sink because that's a place where a lot of people put them and if there is some kind of fire inside your kitchen, it's almost impossible to get to that fire extinguisher. So locate it somewhere you can easily reach it, if there is some type of emergency in your home," said Lt. Morgan Ellington, Southside Fire.

If you find yourself in this situation, use the "PASS" method to operate a fire extinguisher. Pull the pin, aim at the base of the fire, squeeze the handle and sweep back and forth until the fire is out.

There are other thing like space heaters and Christmas lights that are a cause of concern. This weekend alone, Savannah Fire responded to five different incidents from dryers to kitchen fires, displacing 15 people.

One thing you want to make sure is you are not overloading the circuits. If you have a live tree, make sure you water it so it doesn't dry out with the lights on it.

If you're using an extension cord for a space heater, remember they require a lot of power so you want to make sure that cord can handle the heater you're using. You also want to make sure the heater isn't close to anything else. Public Information Officer Mark Keller recommends a three foot diameter around the heater.

"The easiest way to check the space heater when it's on or when it's off, is to touch the cord. If it's warm at all then you need to unplug it and if the extension cord is warm at all that extension cord is not the right gauge for that space heater," said Mark Keller, Savannah Fire PIO.

Also, it's something you may hear all the time, but you want to make sure you check your smoke detectors regularly about once a month and don't forget to change the batteries. Simply remember to do this when it's time to fall back or spring forward.

And if you live in the unincorporated area of Chatham County, they will come out to your home and install a smoke detector for you. Just call the Southside Fire Department at 912.354.1011.

Copyright 2015 WTOC. All rights reserved.