Fire safety for the holiday season

( file photo)

Fire officials are issuing some safety reminders when it comes to entertaining during the next few days.

According to the public educator for Chatham-Kent Fire and Emergency Services, Whitney Burke, careless cooking is the number one cause of fires across the province during the holiday season.

Burke suggests that, while it may be tempting to go chat with guests while something is on the stove, try to have guests come into the kitchen instead to talk so you can keep an eye on what’s cooking.

Although there are times leaving the kitchen is unavoidable, Burke said to never leave the kitchen unattended while cooking with high temperatures or oil. She has one good suggestion of what to do if you do need to leave the kitchen unattended for a few minutes.

“Bring an oven mitt with you as a reminder or a kitchen towel as a reminder that you still have something on the stove or in the oven,” Burke said.

Christmas trees and Christmas lights are also a big fire risk during the month of December. With many people leaving their house for extended periods during this time of year the risks can be even greater.

“If you are going to be leaving your home, make sure you shut off your Christmas lights,” said Burke. “When you leave your house make sure they’re off as well as when you go to sleep at night.”

Burke said trees should be kept a safe distance away from any heat source and open flames such as candles. If you have a real tree it is important to keep it well watered while it remains in your house to lessen the risk of fire.