Holiday Safety Tips

With the fall season steadily approaching, the Winston-Salem Fire Department wants everyone to have an enjoyable and safe Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. The mission of the Winston-Salem Fire Department and NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) is to educate the citizens and communities in Winston-Salem by promoting fire safety and preventive measures to aid in decreasing fires, injuries and non-fire related incidents.

Holiday Cooking

table full of food

Cooking fires are the number one cause of residential fires and injuries. The leading cause of fire in the kitchen is unattended cooking. Overheated cooking oil will start to bubble and smoke excessively. This bubbling reaction often overflows and ignites. The fire is intense and could spill over and out of the pan instantly. Microwaves ovens are one of the leading home products associated with scald burn injuries that are not related to fires.

Turkey Fryers that involve immersing the turkey in hot oil is not a favorable method of cooking by NFPA. The use of turkey fryers can often lead to devastating burns; other injures and fires due the use of substantial quantity of cooking oil at high temperatures and dangers of the hot oil being release at some point during the cooking process.

  • Turkey Fryers Safety Demonstration [video]
  • Cooking Safety Tips
  • swirl design

    Christmas tree Safety

    Christmas treeIn a four-year span, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated annual average of 240 home structure fires that began with Christmas trees. Home Christmas tree fires caused an average of 13 civilian deaths, 27 civilian injuries, and $16.7 million in direct property damage per year. Although these fires are not common, when they do occur, they are likely to be serious. On average, one of every 18 reported home structure Christmas tree fires resulted in a death compared to an average of one death per 141 total reported home structure fires.

    Carefully selecting a fresh, green needle or artificial tree, placing the tree at least 3” from any heat source, properly lighting the tree and disposing of the tree when the needles start to drop are all essential in making the holidays safer.

    Holiday lights and other decorative lighting with line voltage were involved in an estimated average of 150 home structure fires per year in this same period. These fires caused an average of eight civilian deaths, 14 civilian injuries, and $8.5 million in direct property damage per year.

    In a study of fall-related injuries during the holiday season, an annual average of roughly 5,800 fall injuries related to holiday decorating.

  • Holiday Decorating Safety [video]
  • Christmas tree Safety [video]
  • Christmas tree fire demostration [video]
  • Holiday Safety Tips [pdf]
  • Christmas tree Safety Tips [pdf]

    Halloween Safety

    Halloween Safety

    With the month of October, steadily approaching planning can help make this Halloween a fire-safe one. A recent study revealed during a four-year-period, NFPA estimated that decorations were the item first ignited in an estimated average of 1,240 reported home structure fires per year. These fires caused an estimated average of seven civilian deaths, 53 civilian injuries and $20 million in direct property damage per year.

    When choosing a costume, stay away from billowing or long trailing fabric and make sure costumes fabrics are flame-resistant. Dried flowers, cornstalks and crepe paper are highly flammable and should remain a safe distance from open flames and heat sources, including light bulbs and heaters.

    Stress the importance to children to stay away from open flames. In the event their costume catches fire, be sure they know how to stop, drop and roll. When practicing this drill, (have them practice stopping immediately, drop to the ground, cover their face with hands and roll repeatedly to suppress the flames.)

    In addition, if your child is attending a party or large social gathering away from their home, have them look for exits or escape routes and plan how they would get out in an emergency.

  • Halloween Safety Video
  • Halloween Fire Safety Tips
  • All information provided on this webpage was retrieved from the NFPA website. Please visit NFPA website to receive additional information on fire and life safety preventive measures.

    Please contact us for any assistance or additional information you may need at (336) 773-7900 or send an email to the department’s Community Educator Specialist.

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