Fire safety tips ahead of Thanksgiving 2022

Published: Nov. 17, 2022 at 6:18 PM CST
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DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) - As winter approaches and people tend to gather inside, the Red Cross and local fire departments want to help prevent a rise in house fires across the nation.

With Thanksgiving a week away, families across the Quad Cities are getting ready to cook for guests. Davenport Fire Lieutenant Zach Soliz said now is a good time to check cooking areas for hazards and flammable materials.

“Fire service in general always is an increase of calls for a variety of different reasons, holidays, in particular,” Soliz said. “We gather for cooking, and cooking remains the number one cause for residential home fires.”

While cooking, the Red Cross recommends keeping a cookie sheet or lid nearby in case of something catches on fire. Spokesperson Brian Williamsen said to never leave food cooking unattended.

“When you put your turkey in the oven, [that’s] not a good time to go and run errands,” Williamsen said. “Make sure that you stay home, make sure that you’re around when you have something cooking in the oven.”

If cooking outside, Williamsen reminds cooks to be a safe distance from the house, deck or garage.

“Make sure that that turkey fryer is on a level surface,” Williamsen said. “On top of that, if you’re going to fry a turkey, make sure it’s thawed, don’t put a frozen turkey in. This all goes to the possibility of the oil spilling over, [causing] grease fires.”

As people tend to stay with family or friends for different celebrations, Soliz recommends hosts tell guests about the best way out of the house in case of a fire.

“If something happens, do those people know your address?” Soliz said. “Do they know where they’re at in case somebody else needs to call 911? [There are], different considerations that pop up with having extra people.”

Both the Red Cross and DFD mentioned this is the best time of year to replace air filters and clean fireplaces ahead of their first use.

The Red Cross provides free fire safety resources on its website.