Lynn Smith, MPH, MCHES(R)
How to Stay Safe in Your Vacation Rental This Holiday Season
The holidays are a time for family, friends, and celebrating. However, it’s also the time of year when most home fires occur. According to the National Fire Protection Association, cooking is the leading cause of home fire deaths, and most cooking fires happen between Thanksgiving and Christmas. In fact, with an average of 2,600 fires happen each year between Thanksgiving and Christmas. But don’t let that stop you from enjoying your vacation!
With a few simple precautions, you can help prevent fires and keep your vacation rental —and your family— safe this holiday season. Keep reading for 5 tips on how to avoid a cooking fire this holiday season.
Cook sober. This one should be obvious, but it bears repeating. Holiday parties often involve alcohol, but it’s important to make sure that whoever is doing the cooking is not impaired. If you’re drinking, designate someone else to be in charge of the kitchen.
Do not leave cooking unattended. Whether you're frying up some holiday turkey or baking cookies for Santa, it's important to stay in the kitchen while you're cooking. If you have to leave the kitchen for any reason—whether it’s to answer the door or check on the kids—turn off the stove first. Fires can start very quickly and escalate just as quickly, so it’s important to be in the kitchen at all times when something is cooking. If you need to step away for any reason, turn off the stove or oven first.
Know where to find the fire extinguisher and how to use it. Every short term rental should have a fire extinguisher, and it should be easily accessible in case of an emergency. In the event of a small kitchen fire, a fire extinguisher can be a lifesaver—literally. Before you start cooking, familiarize yourself with the location of the fire extinguisher and make sure everyone in your party knows how to use it. Seconds count.
Take precautions around sharp knives and boiling water. Sharp knives and boiling water are both common ingredients in holiday cooking. Keep knives stored safely out of reach of children, and never leave boiling water unattended. Be extra careful when handling them and keep them away from children at all times.
Do not light open flame candles in the property. Many people like to use candles to set a festive mood during the holidays, but open flame candles are a major fire hazard. For the safety of our guests, we do not allow open flame candles in our vacation rental properties. Please do not bring candles, matches, or lighters to the property either. We provide battery-operated candles for our guests’ safety, so please do not bring any open flame candles with you when you stay at one of our properties.
By following these simple tips, you can help prevent fires and other injuries in your vacation rental this holiday season! Enjoy your time with family and friends, but be sure to take precautionary measures to keep everyone safe. Cooking fires are no joke—they cause billions of dollars in damage every year and thousands of people lose their lives to them. Don't let your family become a statistic—stay safe this holiday season! And if you have any questions about fire safety in our rentals, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We want you to enjoy your stay—fire-free!
About the Blogger: I'm Lynn Smith! I have a Masters degree in Public Health and have transformed my educational background into offering safe & welcoming spaces for travelers coming to the Oklahoma City metro area. In 2021 with my husband Jeff, we created Pro Familia Homes, a short term rental and co-hosting company. We own & operate our own vacation rentals and co-host properties for other owners.