MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Drunk drivers aren’t the only safety issue that spikes on New Year’s — it is one of the biggest days for fires, too.
The Minneapolis Fire Department said New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day are two of the most common days for house fires.
They said cooking, heating and candles are the top three causes, and adding alcohol to the mix makes the risk even greater.
Firefighters gave some tips for fire safety:
• If you’re drinking, let someone else be in charge of the oven.
• Never leave cooking unattended on the stove.
• Turn pot and pan handles so they don’t hang over the edge of the stove. That way, they’re less likely to be knocked off the stove accidentally.
• There are more candle fires on New Year’s Day than any other day of the year.
• Avoid using candles at parties, but if you do use them, put them in an open area and do not leave them unattended.
• 40 percent of candle fires start when something that can catch fire is too close to the candle flame. Keep candles away from decorations or other combustible materials.
• Never leave children or pets unattended in a room with a burning candle.
• About 30 percent of candle fires start in the bedroom. Make sure candles are extinguished before you leave the house or go to sleep.
• Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of fire fatalities in Minnesota, and smoking coupled with alcohol can be deadly. After a party, check in the cushions and under upholstered furniture, and check wastebaskets for cigarette butts that may still be smoldering.