The U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency have released tips for traveling, cooking and decorating during the holidays.
The department’s recommendations include:
Be a prepared traveler. If you must travel, check travel restrictions, and get your flu shot before you go. Always wear a mask in public settings and wash your hands often. If you plan to leave the state, understand what the requirements are for isolating or quarantining when you arrive and/or return then plan accordingly. If you’re driving, ensure you have an emergency supply kit in your car, and if you’re packing for a flight or train ride, consider a small kit in case of emergency: flashlight, batteries, & a spare USB power bank.
Protect against home fire risks. Put working smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms on every level of your home and inside and outside sleeping areas. Change the batteries in these alarms twice per year, or per manufacturer’s guidelines.
Practice smart cooking. Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, broiling, or boiling food and turn pot handles toward the back of the stove so they won’t get bumped. Clean cooking equipment after each use—crumbs in a toaster or grease on the stove can catch on fire.
Heat your home safely. Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from fireplaces, wood stoves, portable heaters and radiators. When you leave a room or go to bed, turn heaters off or unplug them.
Decorate with care. Nearly half of holiday decoration fires happen because decorations are placed too close to a heat source. Think about using battery-operated flameless candles this season. If that isn’t an option, place candles at least 12 inches away from anything that burns and ensure they cannot be reached by children or pets. Inspect holiday lights before you put them up and throw away light strands with frayed or pinched wires. If you’re putting up a tree inside your home, water it every day.