ODESSA, Texas (BIG 2/ FOX 24)- For many, Thanksgiving is a day filled with family and friends, but, according to the International Association of Firefighters it’s also a day where they get the greatest amount of house fire calls.
Odessa Fire Rescue Fire Marshal Michelle Cervantes says, “you’ve got so many things going on, people are in a hurry so it’s not uncommon. Our calls really increase during the holiday, not just for cooking but space heaters because it’s cold. Cold temperatures are among us we wanna stay warm.”
According to OFR, it’s never a good idea to put space heaters near flammable items and if you have a fireplace make sure it’s cleaned out and has a screen protector.
“You don’t pay attention, we wanna just keep warm and you turn up the nob to the highest temperature not realizing what’s around. A three-foot clearance, don’t put them too close to the bedding, comforters, curtains, clothing, because you know all that can catch fire,” says Cervantes.
Adding that an unattended kitchen along with a space heater near flammable material is a recipe for disaster.
“If you happen to see flames or smoke leave it closed don’t open because again that can burn with the steam or the flames coming from the oven that can cause an injury.”
If turning the oven off and leaving it closed doesn’t extinguish the fire don’t hesitate to call 911 and of course never take the batteries out of your smoke alarm.
“Don’t take out the batteries for your smoke detector, not just because of the holidays, that can go anytime you have a smoke detector in your home. Do not take the batteries, they’re there for a reason and it cannot work if you don’t have the batteries in there,” says the Fire Marshal.