Queen Creek Fire and Medical offers tips to keep the holidays safe

The holiday season is filled with festivities and cheer, from family meals to merry decorations, but many of the holiday traditions can be a safety hazard if not properly prepared.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, home fires originate the most frequently in the kitchen. Additionally, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are the three most common days for home cooking fires.

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The Queen Creek Fire and Medical Department want the holiday season to be filled with joy and offer the following safety recommendations to reduce holiday hazards.

Christmas tree safety

  • Select a tree with fresh, green needles.
  • Place the tree and ornaments at least three feet from any heat source.
  • Water the tree daily.
  • Replace lights that are worn, have broken cords or loose bulbs.
  • Never use candles to decorate the tree.
  • Always turn off tree lights before leaving and going to bed.
  • Remove the tree once it is dry by recycling it at one of the town’s tree recycling events.

Cooking safety

  • Keep anything that can catch fire away from the stovetop (oven mitts, food packaging, etc.).
  • Stay in the kitchen when frying, grilling or boiling food. If you must leave the room, turn off the stove.
  • Be sure to thaw the turkey completely before cooking.
  • If you have a pan fire, place a lid on the pan and turn off the burner.
  • Keep kids at least three feet away from the stove, oven, hot food and liquids.

General safety

  • Never leave space heaters unattended, including while you sleep. Do not let pets or kids play too close to space heaters.
  • Do not plug extension cords into one another.
  • Only use lights and extension cords outside that are labeled for outdoor use.
  • Check decorations for any frayed or pinched wires; discard any worn decorations.
  • Install working smoke alarms on every level in your home, in every bedroom, and outside of each sleeping area. Test the alarms monthly and change the batteries annually.

The town of Queen Creek offers free recycling services for Christmas trees, electronics, paint and cooking oil. Holiday recycling for trees, electronics and paint will be available on Jan. 6 and Jan. 13 from 8 a.m. to noon at the dirt lot on the northwest corner of Ellsworth and Maya roads.

The town also offers a free cooking oil recycling program. The used oil and grease is collected and turned into clean biodiesel fuel. Collection barrels are available year-round at Fire Station 2 at 24787 S. Sossaman Road.

Visit QueenCreek.org/Recycling to learn more about the programs.

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