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Now that we're in the midst of the holiday season, can you share some fire-safety tips?

(A Lake Oswego police officer or firefighter answers readers' questions each week in this space. To submit a question, call Editor Gary M. Stein at 503-636-1281 ext. 102 or send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

Can you share some holiday fire-safety tips?

ZOUTENDIJKWe typically see an increase in hazards related to fire safety during the holiday season. From cooking your favorite meal or turning up the heat to decking out the holiday tree, many of our favorite wintertime activities come with some extra risks if you are not careful.

Here are some of the more common concerns we encounter during the season:

• When deep-frying a turkey, make sure it is completely defrosted. Have the fryer outside on a flat surface, but do not cook in the rain as the water can make the oil splatter.

• Do not leave any cooking unattended; fires get out of hand quickly.

• Watch children while you're cooking, whether inside in the kitchen or outside with a barbeque or fryer.

• Have your chimney checked for creosote and cracks before using it for the season.

• Keep fires in the fireplace small, and only burn firewood or fire logs.

• Be careful with holiday decorations. Some decorations are designed for either inside or outside use, not both, so double-check the label sand follow directions.

• Replace decorations that are worn or damaged. Check the maximum amount of decorations you can connect to each other.

• Keep candles away from any decorations. Make sure you blow out any candles when you leave the room or go to bed.

• Test all your smoke alarms monthly and install them in every sleeping area.

• Have a fire extinguisher available to use for small fires.

If you already have an extinguisher, make sure it still works by checking the pressure gauge. Currently, there is a major recall affecting millions of fire extinguishers manufactured by Kidde. Pease check the company's website at http://www.kidde.com for information.

For more fire-safety information, visit lofire.org or call the fire department at 503-635-0275.

— Fire Marshal Gert Zoutendijk

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