Henrico Fire gives fire prevention tips during the holidays

HENRICO, Va. (WWBT) — As families prepare to make their Thanksgiving meals and put up their Christmas decorations this week, Henrico Fire wants to make sure everyone is safe and do everything they can to prevent a fire from starting in their home.

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

First, Reynolds suggests cleaning the area around your cooktop before cooking.

“No boxes. No, no paper towel roll here, so if you get a little flash, it won’t spread to the next thing,” Reynolds told NBC12.

Reynolds also said that people should never leave their stoves unattended while they are cooking. If a fire does start, Reynolds said, don’t panic.

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

Henrico Battalion Chief Doug Reynolds explains what people should do if a fire starts on their stovetops.(Source; NBC12 | NBC12)

Reynolds also said to always have your fire extinguisher handy.

“If you’re going to use it, always stand with your back to the exit,” Reynolds said. “Try to get the base of the fire out.”

Reynolds also suggests removing the fat from your oven and getting a deep pan for your turkey.

“Juices will come out and you don’t want them overflowing,” Reynolds said.

The start of the holiday season also means decorating the house, including setting up the Christmas tree.

“In general, the artificial trees tend to be safer,” Reynolds said.

Reynolds said you should follow these steps if you’re going with a live tree.

“Test the needles if you get a handful of needles, not your tree. If you hit it a little or shake it and they all fall off, that tree is too dry,” he said. then put a fresh slice on it and put it in a bucket of water.”

Reynolds also said to keep your tree 14 inches away from any heat source, including vents in the floor.

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

Before hanging your holiday lights, Reynolds also suggests inspecting the bulbs and checking for frayed wires.

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

“These things can easily overheat and catch fire,” he said.

When lighting a candle, Reynolds said to use the 12-inch safety circle to keep it away from flammable objects.

If you can, Reynolds suggests using a battery-powered candle and making sure you have a working smoke alarm in your home.

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