Outdoor BBQs and fires: Avoid them at winter gatherings

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Focus on avoiding food-related illnesses is important

Outdoor BBQs, fires and fireworks are among those to avoid at this year’s winter gatherings, health experts have advised.

Some 161 people have died from wildfires since they began in California in September.

The fires in the north-western state have claimed 59 lives and all 8,600 people evacuated as a result, and hundreds are injured.

This year’s biggest night of celebration, Halloween, has also seen a number of tragic fires in the US.

“We know that Thanksgiving, Halloween and New Year’s Day are holidays when we typically gather with friends and family, but remember that a day at the office is not the same as a night at the tent,” said the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) in its Global Health Security Preparedness Guide.

The guide also mentioned other dangerous festive occasions – including football, travel, food poisoning, and warm temperatures, which can increase the chance of heat exhaustion and fall injuries.

Avoid these dangers around house parties – you’ll find the guide on the NACCHO website: http://www.naccho.org/u/04/fatalities-and-fire/

US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

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