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Experts urge people to practice safety this holiday season

Recalls And Warnings

EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Millions of people will spend the long Thanksgiving weekend cooking and putting up holiday decorations.

Safety advocates are reminding everyone that there are many potential dangers surrounding the celebration.

In a video posted to its website, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) shows a dry Christmas tree catch fire, and within seconds a room is engulfed in flames.

It’s also popular to deep fry a turkey for the holiday, but left unattended can cause grave consequences. In the last two decades, there were more than eighty injuries involving turkey fryers according to the CPSC.

“Frying in general is one of the most common causes of fires because oil is very sporadic. You drop something wet or overflow the oil, it boils out, and that becomes a fuel and it spreads. Plus that hot oil even before its ready to burn it can be hot enough to burn your skin and cause you some major injuries,” Bryan, Texas Fire Chief Gerald Burnett said.

It’s important to only use dry, unfrozen turkeys. Don’t overfill the oil, turn off the flame when you lower the turkey and keep the fryer away from the house.

About 18-hundred cooking fire occur on Thanksgiving; four times more than any other day. Experts want you to be aware, pay attention and don’t leave things unattended on the stove.

Holiday decorations can also be a hazard. The government says candles and Christmas tree fires led to at least ten deaths from 2014 to 2016.

Christmas trees should also be kept away from space heaters and it’s important to check lights for frayed wires and loose sockets.


Trees and Decorations

1. Buying a live tree? Check for freshness. A fresh tree is green, its needles are hard to pull from branches, and its needles do not break when bent between your fingers. The bottom of a fresh tree is sticky with resin, and when tapped on the ground, the tree should not lose many needles.

2. Setting up a tree at home? Place it away from heat sources, such as fireplaces, vents, and radiators. Heated rooms rapidly dry out live trees, be sure to monitor water levels daily and keep the tree stand filled with water. Place the tree out of the way of foot traffic and do not block doorways with the tree.

3. Buying an artificial tree? Look for the label: “Fire Resistant.” Although this label does not mean that the tree will not catch fire, the tree is more resistant to catching fire.

4. Decorating a tree in homes with small children? Avoid sharp or breakable decorations. Keep trimmings with small removable parts out of the reach of small children who could swallow or inhale small pieces. Avoid trimmings that resemble candy or food that may tempt a child to try to eat them.


1. Keep burning candles within sight. Extinguish all candles before leaving the room.

2. Keep candles on a stable, heat-resistant surface where children and pets cannot reach them or knock them over. Place lit candles away from items that can catch fire such as trees, decorations, curtains and furniture.


1. Only use lights tested for safety by a nationally recognized testing laboratory. Lights for both indoor and outdoor usage must meet strict standards that testing laboratories are able to verify.

2. Check each set of lights, new or old, for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections. Throw out damaged sets and do not use electric lights on a metallic tree.

3. Check each extension cord to make sure it is rated for the intended use and is in good condition. Do not use cords with cuts or signs of fraying.

4. Check outdoor lights for labels showing the lights have been certified for outdoor use and only plug them into a ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI)-protected receptacle or a portable GFCI.


1. Use care with “fire salts,” which produce colored flames when thrown onto wood fires. Fire salts contain heavy metals that can cause intense gastrointestinal irritation and vomiting if swallowed. Keep them away from children.

2. Do not burn wrapping paper in the fireplace. A flash fire may result because wrappings can ignite suddenly and burn intensely.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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