Anyone planning to cook a Christmas dinner should keep a close eye on the stove. The holidays are a busy time for house fires, and kitchen fires ranks as the most common cause for Nashville homes to burn.
"We recommend never cooking when you're drowsy, you drink alcohol, any of that," said Deputy Fire Chief Kim Lawson.
Nearly 50 percent of fire-related deaths occur in cold-weather months and the peak hours fall around dinnertime - between 5 and 8 p.m., according to the National Fire Protection Association.
And when cooking for a large group, the risk is even higher.
Workers at the Nashville Rescue Mission serve 1,800 people each day, and operations manager Billy Eldridge said safety is always the top priority.
"We have several fire extinguishers here. We keep fire extinguishers close," he said.
Eldridge said a fire extinguisher could have saved his own home from a fire in the kitchen several years ago.
One of the typical causes of kitchen fires is food left unattended, so fire officials recommend if you've got family over and you have to leave the room, bring something with you to remind you to come back.
Space heaters are another major cause of fires this time of year. Firefighters stress that if you plan to use one to warm up tonight, maintain at least three feet of clear space around them.
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