Some tips to keep you safe throughout the holidays
KADENA AIR BASE, Japan -- Kadena safety, fire and emergency service officials encourage everyone to follow a few safety tips during the holiday season.
"Electrical safety and fire safety are some of the main concerns during the holiday season," said Staff Sgt. Brian Gunkel, 18th Civil Engineer Squadron Fire and Emergency Services fire inspection specialist.
To avoid electrical fires, individuals should use only lights that have been safety tested and bares the appropriate label. Each set of lights should be checked for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires and loose connections.
Also, the lights on the tree should be mini-cool burning lights with no more than three strands plugged together. Surge protectors should not be overloaded with Christmas lights and computers.
According to Gunkel, Camp Foster received an order of live Christmas trees, which can be a major hazard during this time of year.
The most common cause of Christmas tree fires is not giving the tree enough water. Live Christmas trees should be cut up to two inches from the base of the tree, which allows it to hydrate properly when being watered, Gunkel added.
He also said artificial and live trees should be kept at least three feet away from any heat source. Power cords should not be stretched over long distances.
Another major ingredient of holiday celebrations is food, but cooking is also full of dangers. The 18th Civil Engineer Squadron Fire and Emergency Services urge Kadena base residents to avoid the most common fire hazards associated with cooking.
"Whenever cooking, do not leave anything unattended and do not place towels or other combustible materials on the burners," said Airman 1st Class Peter Hernandez, 18th Civil Engineer Squadron Fire and Emergency Services firefighter.
Gunkel stressed keeping pot handles facing the wall and a serviceable fire extinguisher on the counter or nearby for use at a moment's notice when cooking.
"If you decide to fry your turkey," said Hernandez. "Place the turkey into the fryer first, and then add the oil."
Gunkel added that consumers should unthaw the turkey properly before frying and be aware of overheating the oil when frying the turkey.
"Our calls increase 150 percent during the holidays," Gunkel explained. "Be on the lookout for things that look out of the norm and have a fire extinguisher ready. Have a happy holiday and enjoy the season."
If you have any safety questions, contact the Kadena Fire Prevention Flight at 634-4500 or the Kadena Fire Department at 634-6011. If you need emergency medical or fire assistance, call 911 on base, 119 off base, or 098-934-5911 from a cell phone.