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City of Las Vegas issues safety tips ahead of the holiday season

4 min read
City of Las Vegas issues safety tips ahead of the holiday season

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The City of Las Vegas offered some Holiday safety tips in a news release on Thursday, a week ahead of Thanksgiving day.

According to the United States Fire Administration, an estimated 2,000 Thanksgiving Day fires in residential buildings are reported to each year and cause an average of five deaths, 25 injuries and $21 million in property loss. Additionally, the National Fire Protection Association reports that on Thanksgiving Day, three times the average number of cooking fires occur across the country.

In the release, the city offered tips for those out shopping, especially on Black Friday, and advised people to be aware of their surroundings.

Below are some fire and safety tips for the holidays from the City of Las Vegas:

Cooking Tips

  • When deep frying turkeys, only use an approved turkey fryer with four legs and a built-in thermostat, so proper oil temperature can be maintained.
  • Fry outdoors, away from buildings and other combustible items. Additionally, keep children and pets away while frying.
  • Follow instructions on what size turkey should be used, how it should be cooked and what type of oil to use. Make sure the turkey is completely thawed and dry. Do not stuff the bird and do not forget to take out the bag of gizzards. Lower the turkey into the hot oil slowly.
  • Never leave the fryer unattended. Wear fry gloves; regular oven mittens may not be insulated enough. Splashing oil can cause a flash fire and serious burns.
  • Outside cooking devices used at apartment complexes must be kept at least 10 feet from any building or wall, cannot be under an overhang (such as a balcony) and cannot be used above the first floor.
  • Do not leave cooking food unattended in the kitchen.
  • Fifty-seven percent of reported home cooking fire injuries occurred when victims tried to fight the fire themselves.
  • Be alert. If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol, do not use the oven or stovetop. Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period, turn off the stove.
  • Remain in the home while food is cooking and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking. Keep anything that can catch fire, such as oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains, away from your stovetop.
  • When cooking indoors using a natural gas or propane stove, make sure there is not a buildup of carbon monoxide in the home. The stove is a common source of carbon monoxide in the home, especially if you are cooking for several hours. Run any vents you have in the kitchen, especially the one over the stove. You should open windows/doors in the kitchen at least once each hour to allow fresh air to circulate into the kitchen.
  • In the case of a stove fire, shut off the stove and cover the burning pan with a lid or use a fire extinguisher. Do not throw water, salt, flour or any other substance on the fire; these substances can cause the fire to flare. Do not try to move a burning pan outside.
  • If there is a fire inside the oven, shut it off and leave the door shut. Call 911, report the fire and leave the home until firefighters arrive.

Christmas Tree Tips

  • Be sure to replace old lights and burned-out bulbs.
  • If you are using a living tree, make sure that there is always water in the tree stand.
  • Keep trees at least three feet away from radiators or fireplaces.
  • If you buy an artificial tree, make sure that it is labeled “fire resistant.”

Shopping Tips 

  • Make sure to lock your vehicle doors.
  • Do not leave valuables in your vehicle. It is better to take them with you rather than hide them.
  • Park in well-lit areas.
  • Always be aware of the area/surroundings you are parking in.
  • When getting gas, lock all doors except the driver’s door. Do not leave your handbag or wallet out on the seat.
  • When walking to/from your vehicle, always have your keys out and ready when approaching your vehicle.
  • Look around and inside your vehicle before getting into your vehicle.
  • If you are concerned for any reason, simply walk past your vehicle and call for help.
  • Avoid talking on your cell phone while you drive and while walking in parking lots — concentrate on your driving and your surroundings.

Home Safety Tips

  • If traveling, get an automatic timer for your residential home lights, ask a neighbor to watch your home and park their vehicle in your driveway from time to time. Do not forget to have mail and newspaper delivery stopped.
  • If you are out for the evening — turn on lights and radio/TV to make it appear as if someone is home.
  • Consider not posting vacation pictures on social media while you are away. This alerts others that your home may be vacant.
  • Be extra cautious about locking doors/windows at your home when you leave.
  • Do not display gifts where they can be seen from outside.
  • Criminals sometimes pose as couriers delivering gifts. Be cautious when opening the door and accepting packages.
  • It is not uncommon for others to take advantage of people’s generosity during the holidays by going door-to-door for charitable donations. Ask for identification and find out how funds will be used.

ATM Safety Tips

  • Always watch for suspicious persons or activity around an ATM.
  • ATMs inside businesses provide less opportunity for criminals.
  • Be aware of anyone sitting in a vehicle in close proximity to or at a distance from an ATM location.
  • If you notice anything strange, leave and return another time or go to another ATM location.
  • If you get cash, put it away immediately — do not stand at the ATM and count it.
  • If you use a drive-up ATM, ensure your vehicle doors/windows are locked.

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