Authorities urge caution to prevent holiday fires
Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the busiest time of year for the Gainesville Fire Department.
“We certainly do begin to respond to more fires during the holiday season,” said Gainesville Fire Rescue Assistant Chief JoAnne Rice.
To ensure safety during the holidays this season, Rice urged caution for residents.
Many fires can result from holiday decorations like lights or candles, she said. Cooking fires also increase in the weeks after Thanksgiving.
Make sure no flammable objects like kitchen towels or electrical chords are near stove tops and keep an eye on what’s cooking. Rice also advised to keep children out of the kitchen.
“It’s not a play area. You want to have at least a three-foot clear zone around your stove and oven,” she said. “You are cooking in there, and there’s a lot of heated things and a lot of movement and activity going on so be safe in that way.”
She also said to have a lid handy if you’re cooking with grease. Water doesn’t put out grease fires, so a lid could extinguish or smother that kind of fire.
If a cooking fire does occur, Rice said to make sure everyone evacuates the building, even if a fire extinguisher is used. She encouraged residents to always call the fire department to make sure the building is safe and the fire is fully extinguished.
Kelly Price edited this story online.
More Stories in Florida
The Supreme Court ruled Thursday the parents of University of Central Florida football player, Ereck Plancher, are limited to collecting $200,000 in a lawsuit they filed against UCF Athletics Association, Inc. Plancher collapsed and died in March 2008 after off-season football drills supervised by football coach George O’Leary.
Florida officials predict a strain of marijuana, known as Charlotte’s Web, will be available for medical purposes later this year. The Department of Health released a statement that said they are moving quickly to allow access to it.
Governor Rick Scott passed a bill May 22 that will allow for concealed carry of a weapon without a license for 48 hours after a mandatory evacuation has been ordered during the state of an emergency. Although it is already a law, some are questioning details pertaining to certain aspects of the bill.
Gov. Rick Scott signed 44 bills into law Thursday. Among those bills is a provision to allow gun owners to carry their weapons in the case of emergency evacuation as well as a bill to expand the child-protection law.
Miami and Orlando school districts will remove Styrofoam trays from school cafeterias and will replace them with compostable plates. The change within the districts is part of an effort to enact environmentally conscious changes in larger school districts.