Red Cross: Fire safety tips during Thanksgiving

According to the Red Cross, its crews respond to an average of six home fires everyday and Thanksgiving is the peak day when South Carolina sees the most numbers of home fires.

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO) – According to the Red Cross, its crews respond to an average of six home fires everyday and Thanksgiving is the peak day when South Carolina sees the most numbers of home fires.

Mandy McWherter with the Red Cross says cooking incidents cause the bulk of home fires. She is reminding people to check their smoke detectors and keep a fire extinguisher nearby. 

“If you see flames in your oven keep the door closed and make sure you turn off the power source. Also, its a good idea to keep a pot lid or a cookie sheet nearby so you can use it to smother the flames of a pan that’s on top of your stove. Also make sure you keep pan handles are turned into the stove so that nobody accidentally bumps them off, and it is a good idea to use a timer to remind yourself that something is cooking in the oven or on the stove,” says McWherter. 

The Red Cross depends on people like Kathleen Gibson and her volunteer team to respond to house fires during the holiday.

“I’m a stop, drop, and do it kind of person and whenever duty calls that’s the way I handle things,” says Gibson.  

Gibson says it is a devastating time for the families who experience house fires especially during the holiday season. She explains there are times a life is lost or a home is destroyed. 

“I have to sometimes channel my emotions because the water will flow however the adrenaline pumps and the helping part of me comes out where I know that I got to be the strong one here,  I have to be the one to give them hope, and essentially give them help,” says Gibson. 

Red Cross officials say this is the season of giving and you can help your neighbors in need by donating.  

“I want the best for everybody and I am hoping and praying within my soul that everyone has a safe happy holiday season but just know that if you do need us we’re here,” says McWherter.

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