Safety First Before the Feast Avoiding Fire Damage at the Holidays
Each November, families gather to celebrate Thanksgiving by preparing a delicious feast, but if you don’t practice safe cooking habits, your happy holiday could quickly become hazardous in a blink of an eye. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), cooking is the main cause of home fires and injuries, with the Thanksgiving holiday being the peak day for cooking-related fire emergencies. Review the following safety tips to help ensure you can enjoy a safe holiday.
- Never leave cooking food unattended—stay in the kitchen while frying, grilling, or broiling food. If someone must leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, they should turn off the stove.
- Check food regularly while cooking and remain in the home while kitchen equipment is in use. Use a timer as a reminder that the stove or oven is on.
- Keep small children away from the cooking area. Enforce a “kidfree zone” and make them stay at least three feet away from the stove and oven.
- Keep anything flammable like pot holders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, and towels away from the stove, oven, or other appliances in the kitchen that generates heat.
- Do not wear loose clothing or dangling sleeves while cooking. n
- Clean cooking surfaces on a regular basis to prevent grease build-up. n
- Purchase a fire extinguisher to keep in the kitchen year round. Contact the local fire department for training on the proper use of fire extinguishers if you are unsure. n
- Always check the kitchen before going to bed or leaving the home to make sure all kitchen appliances like stoves, ovens, and toasters are turned off. n
- Install a smoke alarm near the kitchen, on each level of the home, near sleeping areas and inside and outside of bedrooms. Use the test button to check it is working properly every month. Replace the batteries at least once a year.
SERVPRO® of Clarion Jefferson and Forest Counties wish you a safe and happy Thanksgiving and holiday season.
Source: National Fire Protection Association
CARBON MONOXIDE: A SILENT KILLER
What You Need to Know!
You can’t see or smell carbon monoxide, but at high levels, it can kill a person in minutes. Often called the silent killer, carbon monoxide, or CO, is an invisible, odorless, colorless gas created when fuels, like gasoline, wood, coal, natural gas, and propane burn incompletely.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), each year more than 400 Americans die from unintentional CO poisoning. It is estimated another 20,000 visit the emergency room, and more than 4,000 are hospitalized due to CO poisoning. All people and animals are at risk for CO poisoning, with some groups— including unborn babies, infants and people with chronic heart disease, anemia, or respiratory problems— being more susceptible to the effects of carbon monoxide.
An excess of CO, leading to CO poisoning, can result from faulty furnaces or other heating appliances, portable generators, water heaters, clothes dryers, or idling cars left running in garages. Taking some basic, precautionary steps can help eliminate the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Protect yourself by reviewing the following tips provided by the United States Fire Administration.
- Have fuel-burning appliances, like oil and gas furnaces, gas or kerosene heaters, fireplaces, and wood stoves inspected by a trained professional every year.
- Open the damper for proper ventilation before using a fireplace. Never use your own oven or stovetop to heat your home.
- Make sure all fuel-burning equipment is vented to the outside to avoid CO poisoning. Keep the venting for exhaust clear and unblocked.
- If you need to warm a vehicle, remove it from the garage immediately after starting it. Never run a vehicle or other fueled engine or motor indoors, even if garage doors are open. Make sure the exhaust pipe of a running vehicle is not blocked with snow, ice, or other materials.
- Make sure vents for the dryer, furnace, stove, and fireplace are clear of snow and other debris.
- Only use barbeque grills outside, away from all doors, windows, vents, and other building openings. Some grills can produce CO gas. Never use grills inside the home or the garage, even if the doors are open.
- Use portable generators outdoors in well-ventilated areas away from all doors, windows, vents, and other building openings to prevent exhaust fumes from entering the home.
The Secret to Happiness
Did you know that the act of volunteering has been linked to overall happiness? In an article in Harvard’s HealthGuide, authors noted that volunteering is good for your physical and psychological health. According to research when we help others it makes us happy. The more we give the happier we feel, and our kindness becomes contagious and positively impacts others. According to a study published in Psychological Science, when we help someone we feel good and that leads to more altruisticacts. And, no surprise here, the volunteer's happiness pales in comparison to the joy of those on the receiving end of the generous service.
SERVPRO is proud of all the volunteer activities our employees do from serving on Church Boards to participating in community events such as the Laurel Festival and the Jefferson County Fair and the Emergency Responders Expo. We are happy to be part of the community and supporting events to make it the best place to live and work.
Would You be Ready in an Emergency?
Would YOU be ready in an Emergency?
Thursday, November 29
2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Laurelbrooke Multipurpose Room
133 Laurelbrooke Drive
Guest speakers to include:
Tracy Zents, 9-1-1 Services will provide tools you can use in an emergency away from home
Beth Sawyer, Red Cross will address services provided in a disaster to members of the community
Judie Wohnsiedler, Serv-Pro will share "What Not To Do in an Emergency" and why it's important to get help quickly
Elizabeth Clinger, McKinley Health Ctr Dietitian will discuss food items to keep on hand in the event there is no power or water
Melissa Politio, McKinley Health Ctr Administrator will share how the Health Center stays ready for emergencies in the community
Family and Friends Welcomed
Refreshments to be served.
Please RSVP to Alyssa Snyder (814) 715-3418