The Kern County Fire Department and PG&E share tips to help avoid holiday hazards

Posted at 7:58 AM, Dec 07, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-07 10:58:03-05
Keep your holidays from going up in flames!    
According to the National Fire Protection Association, cooking equipment causes almost 20 percent of home decoration fires. This can happen when a decoration is left on or too close to a stove or cooking equipment. 
With awareness and minor adjustments to cooking and decorating, the holiday season can remain festive and safe for everyone.
"The reality is home fires increase during the holidays. We want to remind residents to slow down, take caution, and stay safe," said Brian Marshall, Kern County Fire Department Chief.  
According to the NFPA, on average, Christmas tree home fires resulted in death four times more often than home fires without a tree. Lighting equipment was involved in almost 40 percent of home tree fires.
PG&E and the Kern County Fire Department share the following safety tips:
Cooking Safety
  • Start with a clean oven to reduce the risk of a grease fire.
  • Clear the range of anything flammable including dish towels, pot holders, and recipe cards.
Electrical Safety
  • Avoid overloading extension cords and wall sockets by following the manufacturer's limits for the number of light strings that can be safely connected together.
  • Check all light strands for cracked or broken plugs, frayed insulation or bare wires. Worn cords can cause fires, so discard damaged sets of lights.
  • Don't place cords under rugs, furniture or other appliances. If covered, cords can overheat or become frayed, increasing the risk of fire.
  • Always turn off decorative lights-indoors and outdoors-when leaving the house and before going to bed.
  • Do not place your holiday tree near a heat source such as a fireplace or heat vent. The heat will dry out the tree, making it more susceptible to fires caused by heat, flame or sparks.
Save Energy
  • Light-Emitting Diode (LED) lights consume 75 percent less energy than traditional incandescent lights, helping customers save money on their energy costs during the holiday season.
  • LED lights produce almost no heat, making them safe to touch and greatly reducing the risk of fire.
  • LED lights are also break resistant and shock resistant.
PG&E and the Kern County Fire Department also encourage residents to create a household emergency preparedness plan and share the plan with house guests this holiday season.