By Jennifer Paysen, Communications Intern, Spring 2015
Love is in the air. The big date night is fast approaching. Planning the perfect Valentine’s Day dinner at home? Perhaps you’re testing out a new recipe to impress your sweetie, or maybe you’ll be enjoying hot cocoa by the fireplace? Keep your dream date from turning into a nightmare with these simple safety tips.
1. SMOKE ALARMS
If you plan on cooking a romantic meal, don’t forget to take proper fire safety precautions in the kitchen. First and foremost, make sure your smoke alarms are working by using the test button. The batteries might need to be replaced if they’re on the older side. If you don’t have a smoke alarm, call the Red Cross or the Fire Department to get one installed for free.
Now that the smoke alarms work, you can start your romantic home cooked meal. Stay in the kitchen while frying, grilling or broiling food, and turn the burners off if leaving the kitchen. Make sure all cooking surfaces are clean to prevent grease buildup, and keep children and pets at least three feet away from the cooking area. Also keep a pan lid or baking sheet nearby and use it to cover the pan if it catches on fire.
It’s time to dim the lights and set the mood. While very romantic, candles can be dangerous if you don’t take a few precautions. Keep them at least 12 inches from anything that can burn, such as curtains, bedding, mattresses, paper, books, flammable decorations, clothing, and upholstered furniture. Keep them out of reach of pets and children. Use candle holders that are sturdy, won’t tip over easily, are made from a material that cannot burn, and are large enough to collect dripping wax. Always extinguish candles before leaving the room or going to bed.
If you plan to cuddle up by the fire, make sure your fireplace is clean and has been inspected during the last year. Never leave it unattended and make sure your fireplace has a glass or metal fire screen large enough to catch sparks and rolling logs. Also make sure any embers in the fireplace are extinguished before going to bed or leaving home. Always keep all potential sources of fuel like paper, clothing, bedding or rugs at least three feet away.
5. FIRST AID KIT AND AMERICAN RED CROSS APPS
You want everything to be just perfect, but accidents are bound to happen. To avoid cutting or burning yourself while cooking, schedule plenty of time to prepare your meal so that you aren’t rushing. In case of a minor injury, keep your first aid kit handy. Download our free First Aid App today, so that you’ll have first aid information right in your pocket in preparation for Valentine’s Day and every day.
Happy Valentine’s Day from the American Red Cross Central & South Texas Region!