RENO — As holiday cooking activities begin, the American Red Cross of Northern Nevada reminds everyone to include two important safety ingredients; Red Cross Cooking Safety Tips and working smoke alarms.  

During November and December of 2018, the Red Cross Disaster Assistance Team (DAT) responded to 19 home fires. Since July 1 of this year, the DAT team has provided assistance on 63 fires in 8 counties throughout the 13-county chapter service area.  

 Having seen many home fires that start for various reasons, DAT volunteers advise the following home fire safety tips: 

 • Be prepared for a potential home fire situation. 

• Understand where the fire risks are in your home. 

• Know your exit options. 

• Plan a response with your family. 

• Make sure you have working smoke alarm. 

 If your home doesn’t have working smoke alarms, take advantage of free smoke alarms and installations offered by the Red Cross through its Home Fire Campaign. 

This is a free service and there is no obligation. During the visit, Red Cross volunteers will educate families on home fire safety that includes creating an evacuation plan. 

Remember, working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in a home fire in half! 

To request a free smoke alarm installation, contact the Red Cross hotline number at 775-954-1185. Please leave a name, address, zip code, and phone number.  

 Because cooking is the leading cause of home fires across the country, follow these Red Cross Cooking Safety Tips: 

• Clean and clear the area around the stove before turning on the heat. 

• Keep things that can burn away from the stove; like dishtowels, bags, boxes, paper and curtains. 

• Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the stove. 

• Avoid wearing loose clothing or dangling sleeves while cooking. 

• Turn pot handles to the back of the stove so no one bumps them or pulls them over. 

• Keep an eye on what you fry! Stay in the kitchen and never leave cooking food unattended. If you must leave the kitchen, even for a short period of time, turn off the stove. 

• Fires can start when the heat is too high. When frying food, turn the burner off if you see smoke or if the grease starts to boil. Carefully remove the pan from the burner. 

• Keep a pan lid or a cookie sheet nearby. Use it to cover the pan if it catches on fire. This will put out the fire. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled. 

• Download the Red Cross First Aid App for access to life-saving information on what to do for common, everyday first aid emergencies including burns.  

About the Northern Nevada Chapter 

The American Red Cross of Northern Nevada serves 13 counties and over 87,000 square miles. 

Its more than 200 volunteers respond to disasters both locally and nationally in addition to providing training on CPR and community preparedness. The chapter has served northern Nevada for more than 100 years. The American Red Cross of Northern Nevada receives generous support from the Parasol Tahoe Community Foundation.