Telgian Engineering & Consulting’s Chief Engineering Officer and fire protection expert Tracey Bellamy recently spent the morning at FOX 5, sharing essential holiday fire safety tips with Good Day Atlanta host Alyse Eady. As part of Telgian’s commitment to the safety of our communities, Tracey shared holiday fire safety tips on everything from turkey fryers to holiday lights and fireplace safety.
According to Bellamy, the best line of defensive against a holiday fire is a strong offense. There are many potential fire hazards present during the holiday season, and he says that by implementing these tips, we can all be better prepared:
Ensure Turkey Fryer Safety
- Place of the device on level ground, outside, and at least 10 ft from combustibles not on a wooden deck or under a carport.
- Don’t overfill with oil. Pay attention to the fill lines which are geared to the size of the turkey.
- Never use a frozen or partially frozen turkey, and also remember to dry the bird.
- Consider shutting off the fuel to the burner just prior to putting the bird into the oil and relighting after placement is complete.
- Use care when lowering the turkey into the grease to ensure the grease does not boil over. Use protective hot mitts or other means to protect your hands and arms. Never “drop” the bird into the oil.
- Never leave a turkey fryer unattended, being sure to keep an eye of the oil temperature so as not to overheat and keeping children and pets at a safe distance.
Check Your Fire Extinguishers
- On the chance that you do have a problem, always have a fire extinguisher ready and know how to use it. (Click for tips on how to use a fire extinguisher.)
- Make sure the fire extinguisher is appropriately rated for the hazard. A multipurpose dry chemical A:B:C extinguisher is generally acceptable for the board range of hazards.
- Remember PASS – PULL the pin, AIM the extinguisher at the base of the flame, SQUEEZE the handle, and SWEEP from side to side across the base of the fire
- Never use water on a grease fire.
Consider Newer LED Christmas Lights
- Don’t hold onto Christmas lights for too long, wiring does degrade over time.
- In the newer lights available, there are traditional incandescent, but also LED lights, which are less susceptible to overloading a circuit.
- Don’t string too many light strands together. Pay attention to the manufacturer’s limits located on the front of the box.
- LED are the safer choice, and you can generally connect more strands than incandescent, depending on specific manufacturer’s limits, without overloading circuits (always check the packaging for instructions).
- Not all lights are rated for outdoor use. Only use lights outdoors if they are rated outdoor or indoor/outdoor.
- Always select lighting that includes the mark of a recognized nationally testing laboratory such as UL.
- Always place candles away from combustibles to avoid contact with the flame. Select candles that include a surrounding noncombustible enclosure to shield the flame, such as glass, that will help avoid unintended contact with combustibles.
- Never leave candles unattended. The open flame on a candle can ignite any number of nearby combustibles.
- Never use candles to decorate a Christmas tree.
- Consider using battery-operated candles. They are a safer option and can still provide the ambiance without the hazards of an open flame.
Remember Fireplace Safety
- Basics, such as using a screen and making sure the fire stays in the fireplace and doesn’t get out are always good tips.
- Have your chimney inspected and cleaned by qualified individuals prior to the start of the season.
- If you are going to light a fire, respect that boundary around the fire and make sure the area is free of decorations, Christmas stockings and other combustibles.
To watch Tracey Bellamy and Good Day Atlanta host Alyse Eady on the FOX 5 holiday fire safety tips segment, visit Holiday Fire Safety Tips That Could Save Your Life.
About Tracey Bellamy, PE, CFPS, CWBSP
Tracey Bellamy is the Chief Engineering Officer for Telgian Engineering & Consulting, LLC (TEC). He oversees the technical aspects of all engineering activities and establishes standards of performance for the fire protection engineering program. Bellamy also performs fire protection and life safety consulting services related to fire and building codes and national fire protection standards. He is a consultant for major construction projects and hazardous material storage facilities throughout the United States and has directed major full-scale fire test programs aimed at the development of alternative fire protection schemes resulting in client savings of over $1B.
He is an active member of National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards committees and the Society of Fire Protection Engineers. Additionally, he has had numerous expert articles published in a variety of trade magazines including American Fire Sprinkler Association’s Sprinkler Age and is a major contributor to the NFPA 13, Automatic Sprinkler Systems Handbook and NFPA 25, Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems Handbook, published by NFPA.
Bellamy is also dedicated to advancing the fire protection industry, and is active in the world of fire and life safety education. He is a senior instructor and has presented classes for NFPA, AFSA, NFSA and Fire Smarts, providing instruction on a wide variety of topics including NFPA standards and the International Building and Fire Codes.
For media inquiries and interviews with Tracey Bellamy, please contact Telgian Corporate Communications Manager Susan McNeill, firstname.lastname@example.org.