OSU-OKC Fire Protection Program sharing safety tips for holiday season

OKLAHOMA CITY – Officials with the Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City Fire Protection Program are reminding residents of safety tips to follow for the holiday season.

OSU-OKC Fire Protection Program Director Joe Bennett says there are several common holiday season safety concerns that residents can be mindful of in order to have a safe and enjoyable November and December.

Space heaters, fireplaces and candles

  • Keep anything flammable at least three feet away from a heat source
  • Have a fire extinguisher and working smoke detectors in residences
  • Space heaters should be turned off when residents leave a room or go to bed
  • Wood-burning fireplaces should be cleaned and inspected each year before use

Turkey fryers

  • Fully defrost and dry the turkey before placing it in the oil. The fryer should never be left unattended and a grease-rated fire extinguisher should be kept on-hand
  • The fryer should be located away from any combustible plants, trees or structures, and should not be used in rain or snow

Holiday decorating

  • Avoid highly fragile ornaments and ornaments that look like food
  • If using a live tree, be sure the tree is properly hydrated and kept away from heat sources
  • When stringing outdoor lights, be mindful of safety on ladders and roofs, and pay attention to any frayed wires, broken sockets or loose connections

Choosing the correct toy

  • It’s important when choosing toys for infants or small children to avoid small parts that might prove to be a choking hazard, or button batteries that can be swallowed and be fatal
  • Shoppers should seek toys that are age-appropriate and should be on the lookout for recalls due to safety issues

Food poisoning

  • Remember to keep raw meat, poultry and seafood away from other foods, during both shopping and preparation. The holiday turkey should be cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Once food is served, hot foods should be kept hot and cold foods should be kept cold
  • Any perishable foods left out for two hours or more should be discarded

Holiday travel

  • Drivers should monitor their route for disruptions ahead of time and minimize distractions while behind the wheel
  • Motorists should plan to leave enough time to reach their destination so that they don’t feel they need to speed on the roadway
  • The driver and all passengers should remember to use their seat belt, and all infants and toddlers should be secured in a properly installed car seat or booster

For more on the OSU-OKC Fire Protection Program, click here.