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Salem Fire Marshal's Office Offers Holiday Safety Tips

By Will Doolin, WJBD News

The Salem Fire Marshal's office is offering tips on preventing tragedy on Thanksgiving - the leading day for cooking fires in the U.S.  Statistics compiled by the National Fire Protection Association show Illinois ranked behind only Texas for the most fires on Thanksgiving during the past five years.  Over 69-percent of residential fires on Thanksgiving are related to cooking.

Salem Fire District Marshal Bill Fulton says to stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, or broiling food and keep track of how long it is cooking.  "When you're cooking something, make sure you control the temperature and don't always go to the highest temperature and stay there with it.  If you're putting something in the oven to roast or bake, stay in the home and set the timer so that it reminds you that you've got something in the oven because that's where we see a lot of oven fires", said Fulton.  

Fulton also says to make sure you keep a three foot kid free/pet free zone around the stove to avoid accidents.  Never leave children alone in rooms with lit candles and keep matches and lighters out of reach of children.  

Fulton also says it's important for people to protect themselves from Christmas Tree fires since many people will be shopping for Christmas trees on Black Friday.  "There is not a problem with using a fresh cut tree just as long as it stay watered, and keep it away from any heat source that can cause it to ignite because they are very flammable.  Again it's just watching what you do and taking a little care with it and everything will be just fine", said Fulton.  

Fulton says you should also make sure all smoke detectors are in working condition by testing them.  Make sure smoke detectors are in working condition by testing them.  Make sure overnight guests are informed on your home's fire escape plan and where the family meeting place is located outside the home.  

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