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Firefighters urge residents to protect themselves from house fires

KUTV kitchen fire 111417.JPG
Firefighters urge residents to protect themselves from  house fires (Photo: KUTV)

(KUTV) Firefighters respond to three times as many house fires on Thanksgiving Day than they do any other time of the year. The most common causes of house fires start in the kitchen.

"Just the regular old range that we all have in our kitchens, if left unattended for long enough, can cause a fire and it can be dangerous,” said Eric Holmes of Unified Fire Authority.

Holmes said distractions around the holidays, guests and children running around, holiday decorations and open flames can all contribute to a cook getting sidetracked.

“We want to make sure that the kids aren’t able to grab any of the handles off the stove if there’s burning pots.”

Firefighter Bethany Bitter said they treat fires that start inside the home with great care.

“A kitchen fire is different because people are typically home,” she said. “It’s an open area so it can travel fast in the home.”

Open heat sources portable heaters start most of the house fires that aren’t created in the kitchen.

“Make sure they’re away from the drapes because one little breeze can blow those drapes into the portable heater. We always want to make sure they are attended. We’re not leaving them on overnight.”

Even central air systems are a hazard. They need to be maintained regularly.

“Furnaces can produce carbon monoxide, which we all know is extremely dangerous. And it can be deadly.”

The Salt Lake Fire Department is also emphasizing seasonal fire safety this year. They will share a new message about fire safety each week on their social media through the end of the year.

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