By Tim James 

In 1925, President Calvin Coolidge proclaimed an observance to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, one of the worse fires in the U.S. The then, week long observance, later turned into October being named fire prevention month.
Your Ocean Reef Department of Public Safety wants to help you remain safe in your home and prevention is the best way to do that. Start by making sure your smoke detectors are operational, changing the batteries twice a year, and ensuring that they are not older than ten years.  Fire is fast, hot and deadly. It only takes minutes for smoke to fill a house. A smoke alarm can give you the extra minute or two that you need to get out of your home. Having an alarm on every level inside each bedroom and living area can protect you.
With the holidays coming we would like to also stress the importance of being safe while cooking that family meal. Here are some safety tip to help you: 
  • Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, broiling, or boiling food.
  • If you must leave the room, even for a short period of time, turn off the stove.
  • When you are simmering, baking, or roasting food, check it regularly, stay in the home, and use a timer to remind you.
  • If you have young children, use the stove's back burners whenever possible. Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the stove.
  • When you cook, wear clothing with tight-fitting sleeves.
  • Keep potholders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper and plastic bags, towels, and anything else that can burn, away from your stovetop.
  • Clean up food and grease from burners and stovetops
  • Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, broiling, or boiling food

If you're planning to fry your turkey, remember to:
  • Set up the turkey fryer more than 10 feet away from your home and keep children and pets away. Never leave it unattended.
  • The oil must be even and steady at all times to ensure safety. Place the fryer on a flat, level surface and carefully gauge the amount of oil needed.
  • Make sure your Thanksgiving turkey is completely thawed and dry. Extra water will cause the oil to bubble furiously and spill over. If oil spills from the fryer onto the burner, it can cause a fire.
  • Use caution when touching the turkey fryer. The lid and handle can become very hot and could cause burns. 
  • Also be sure to keep track of the oil's temperature as many fryers do not have their own thermostats.
  •  Have a fire extinguisher (multipurpose, dry-powder) ready at all times in the event that the oil ignites.
If you have any question or would like a home safety survey please call Public Safety to make an appointment.