Albany Fire Dept. wants community’s help over holiday season

Published: Dec. 21, 2021 at 3:03 PM EST
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Whether you’re an expert chef or unskilled cook, the statistics aren’t good when it comes to being in the kitchen during the holidays. That’s because Albany firefighters say unattended cooking is the No. 1 cause for house fires.

Albany Fire Department Deputy Chief Sebon Burns said they see a spike in the holidays because of more people cooking and more kids being at home.

Burns said don’t leave the kitchen while you’re cooking.

Adding a fire doubles in size every minute, Burns said that’s why it’s important to watch what you’re cooking closely.

If you do have to leave, Burns said to take something from the kitchen with you.

“Oven mitten, spoon, something where if you got it in your hand sooner or later, it will remind you. If you’ve got a fire extinguisher, hit it one time, get out and call 911. That’s what we’re trained to do,” said Burns.

Burns said when putting your extinguisher in your home, store it away from the kitchen or stove. That’s so if a fire starts, you can get to it safely.

“Typically if people have one at home, they have it under the cabinet or right next to the stove. That don’t do them any good,” said Burns.

Also, if you hear a chirping noise coming from your smoke alarm, don’t take the battery out but replace it.

“You need a fresh battery in there pretty much every six months. But you need to push that test button every month to make sure it works,” said Burns.

Burns said many times when the department responds to a fire in a home, there’s no battery in the alarm.

The fire department is also making a big push to get into churches to do an annual inspection.

“We’ve made phone calls, left letters to these churches to let them know how bad we need to get in,” said Burns.

The deputy chief said the reason they haven’t gotten into some is because of timing and schedules.

“Typically, our hours of operation are Monday through Friday. Most churches are on open Sunday. The process itself doesn’t take but 10-15 minutes to make sure your exit lights work, your emergency lights work and look for other hazards too,” said Burns.

Burns said he’s hoping that pastors or members of a congregation will reach out about an inspection.

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