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Picture a newlywed couple living together at their first duty station, excited to host both of their families and some new squadron friends. Then picture the naïve hostess thinking that the “warm” setting on her oven meant-keep warm and not pre-heat at temperatures akin to an erupting volcano. This poor hostess learned quickly of her mistake and how flammable the brown sugar topping was on the once pretty sweet potato casserole. The flames protruding from the oven, melting off the knobs (rendering any oven useless for the remainder of the day) and the soothing sounds of a screeching fire alarm alerted all guests something was amiss.


That naïve hostess was me. I was lucky, the fire was caught early and was easily doused by taking the flaming casserole outside, thankful the only real damage was to my ego.  Avoid your Thanksgiving plans going up in flames by following some of these home Fire Saftey tips.


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Home Fire Safety

The USAA household checklist for helping to reduce home fire damage.


  • Ensure all household members know two ways to escape from every room in your home
  • Establish a place to meet, outside the home, if a fire breaks out
  • Practice escaping from your home at least twice a year
  •  Never leave cooking unattended
  • Store combustible materials in open areas away from heat sources
  • Keep combustible items away from any heating source, such as a water heater or furnace
  • Do not leave candles unattended
  • Never overload circuits or extension cords
  • Do not put electrical cords and wires under rugs, over nails or in high-traffic areas
  • If an appliance sparks, sputters or emits an unusual smell, unplug it immediately and replace it or have it repaired
  • Keep fire extinguishers in rooms where fires are most likely — e.g., kitchen, laundry room, living room, garage
  • Install smoke alarms on every level of the home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas
  • Every month, test your smoke alarms and replace the batteries at least once a year or sooner
  • Replace your smoke alarms every ten years. Smoke alarms become less sensitive over time.
  • Every year, have your chimney cleaned to reduce the risk of a chimney fire.

    *This checklist is not intended to be an exhaustive list of steps to prevent or reduce the severity of a loss. Conducting the steps in this checklist may not eliminate your risk of a loss.

Visit the National Fire Protection Agency's website for more tips to help prevent a fire this Thanksgiving. 

Wishing you all a safe and fire free Thanksgiving celebration.


Do you have any holiday hosting mishaps? Please share in the comments. 




Download the Fire Safety Checklist here: