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Red Cross of West Mich. Offers Thanksgiving Fire Safety Tips

Fire Safety
“Taking a few simple precautions can help everyone have a safe and happy holiday.” -Chip Kragt

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, the American Red Cross of West Michigan encourages families to prevent kitchen fires by taking some basic safety measures. In the U.S., Thanksgiving is the peak day for cooking fires, 90 percent of which are caused by unattended cooking. 

“We all think of Thanksgiving as a time for family, good food and football, but it’s also prime time for cooking fires,” said Chip Kragt, Regional Disaster Officer for the American Red Cross of West Michigan. “Taking a few simple precautions can help everyone have a safe and happy holiday.”

+  Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen even for a short period of time, turn off the stove.

+  Keep anything that can catch fire—potholders, wooden utensils, food wrappers or towels away from your stove top.  

+  Have a “kid- and pet-free zone” of at least 3 feet around the stove.

+  Turn the handles of pots and pans on the stove inward to avoid accidents.

Follow safety tips year round

Install smoke alarms on every level of the house and inside bedrooms. Replace smoke alarm batteries at least once a year. Test each alarm monthly by pushing the test button.

Create and practice a first escape plan. Ensure that household members know two ways to escape from every room.

If a fire occurs in your home, get out, stay out and call 9-1-1. Crawl low under smoke and stop, drop and roll if your clothes should catch fire.

Visit for more information about fire safety and prevention.

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.