HCFR: Make a safety plan while hosting for the holidays

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CONWAY, SC (WBTW) – Horry County Fire Rescue says there is an increased chance for a fire to start in your home if you are hosting for the holidays.

The department suggests making a safety plan to help your loved ones escape an emergency quickly and safely.

“It’s really a good idea to have that plan in place. To know what to do in case something were to happen and you should have all options considered when you’re doing that. So that could be a fire breaking out on the stove, or someone gets cut on something and you just need to get out of the house. Have a plan to get out safely,” said Tony Casey, a HCFR spokesperson.

With larger meals being prepared, Casey says there is a greater risk for kitchen fires.

“Having that fire extinguisher around is a really good idea. We’ve had two fires very recently that could’ve been worse had that fire extinguisher not been used immediately. And that’s even before we were able to get there,” said Casey.

The department reminds families to not block any exits with tables or chairs.

“If you need to get out of the house quickly, not having stuff that could trip you would be a good idea. So that’s part of the efficiency in the emergency plan you should have,” said Casey.

Casey says when opening gifts it’s important to keeping wrapping paper away from open flames and heat.

“Which includes your Christmas tree. Those things can go dry really quickly, so make sure they’re well watered and they’re not getting too dry. Because if they took a spark or any kind of heat source they could go up quickly and turn a small fire into a big fire,” said Casey.

If you’re facing a fire that is too big to handle, the department says everyone should leave the house and call 9-1-1.

“People will try and fight fires on their own, which is a good thing. We’ve seen that save two kitchens recently by using a fire extinguisher. But if you find it’s overwhelming and you can’t take on that fire, call us and we’ll get there in an instant,” said Casey.

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