Red Cross issues tips on keeping homes safe for the holidays

Dec 19, 2023, 1:53 PM | Updated: 1:59 pm

MURRAY — As it gets colder outside and holiday festivities start heating up, the Red Cross urges local communities to think ahead on keeping their homes and loved ones safe for the holidays.

This year alone, the Red Cross Salt Lake Chapter said they have responded to over 160 home fires. They said the majority of those have been caused by cooking.

“People just leaving things unattended on the stovetop not thinking about it, or if there’s a grease fire, and they don’t properly put that out,” said Jeremiah Lafranca, Executive Director of the Greater Salt Lake Area Chapter of the American Red Cross.

Five people displaced following Taylorsville house fire

From baking Santa’s cookies to hosting holiday parties and rockin’ around live Christmas trees; tis’ the season to check your smoke alarm at least once a month during the season.

“A lot of people, they get sick of that beeping noise, and so they take the batteries out and they don’t think about it, and suddenly they don’t have a working smoke alarm,” Lafranca said.

The Red Cross said that when it comes to a live Christmas tree, do not set it near a heater, and check the water daily. It only takes seconds for a small flicker to burn a home down.

The Red Cross also suggests testing your smoke alarm monthly and changing batteries every six months. If you have a smoke alarm that is ten years or older, they say to swap it out.

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Red Cross issues tips on keeping homes safe for the holidays