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Local News

Fire official urges safety

Now that the holiday season and cooler temperatures have commenced, one local fire official is urging residents to use caution when it comes to heating and cooking. 


Rob Frank, assistant fire chief of the Greencastle Fire Department, is asking residents to practice safety as they do holiday cooking and heat their homes, saying every year his department responds to structure fires as a result of improper cooking or heating. 


"Most fires this time of the year are caused by heating homes. The other is cooking around the holidays," Frank said. 


Frank said that when the weather cools, residents need to be smart when it comes to heating appliances. 


"Space heaters are a big cause of fires this time of the year. Make sure they are plugged directly into an outlet and not an extension cord or power strip. Everything needs to be kept at least three feet away from them," Frank said. 


In addition, he is urging residents to make sure fire places, furnaces and chimneys are kept clean and safe.


"Staying proactive when it comes to taking care of these things can prevent fires," said Frank, adding residents should not use the oven in the house to heat the house. 


When it comes to cooking, Frank said frying turkeys can be a problem if the resident doesn't follow cooking instructions. While he and the department doesn't see many instances of fires as a result of frying turkeys, Frank admits it is a possibility.


"I know a lot of people use those to cook turkeys. The burns from those could also be bad. You have to make sure the turkey is completely thawed. The videos you see online are mostly from people putting a frozen turkey in hot oil. It more or less explodes and is like putting water on a grease fire," Frank said.