The Flame - November 2012

Wishing You a Safe Holiday Season

From cooking to decorating, stay safe when preparing for the holidays.

In this issue:

  • Wishing You a Safe Holiday Season
  • Frying Up a Turkey?
  • Beware of the FOG - Fats, Oils and Grease
  • Blue Santa Program is Back for Another Year
  • Public Library's Construction and Renovation Starts Soon!
  • Composting Fall Leaves
  • New yard waste carts available

Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical reminds residents to follow these fire prevention tips to help you and your family have a safe and happy holiday season.

  • Keep your family and overnight guests safe with a working smoke detector on every level of the house, in every bedroom, and in the halls adjacent to the bedrooms. Test smoke detectors monthly and replace batteries at least twice a year.
  • Have a fire extinguisher available not more than 10 feet from the stove, on the exit side of the room. Know how to use your fire extinguisher.
  • Start holiday cooking with a clean stove and oven. Food particles can build up and start fires.
  • Keep the kitchen off-limits to young children and adults that are not helping with food preparations.
  • When cooking, do not wear clothing with loose sleeves or dangling jewelry. The clothing can catch on fire and the jewelry can catch on pot handles, causing spills and burns.
  • Cook on the back burners when possible and turn pot handles in so they don’t extend over the edge of the stove.
  • Never leave cooking unattended. Turn off the stove or have someone else watch if you leave the room.
  • Candles are often part of holiday decorations. Candles should never be left burning when you are away from home or after going to bed. Candles should be out of reach of children. Candle holders should be completely noncombustible and difficult to knock over. The candle should not have flammable decorations around it.
  • If smoking is allowed inside, provide guests with large, deep ashtrays and check them frequently. After guests leave, check for cigarette butts that may be smoldering.

Frying Up a Turkey?

Turkey Fryer

Turkey fryers should always be used outdoors at a safe distance from buildings and any other materials that can burn.

Never use turkey fryers on wooden decks or in garages. Make sure the fryers are used on a flat surface to reduce accidental tipping. Never leave the fryer unattended.

Never let children or pets near the fryer when in use. Even hours after use, the oil inside the cooking pot can remain dangerously hot.

To avoid oil spillover, do not overfill the fryer.

Use well-insulated potholders or oven mitts. If possible, wear safety goggles to protect your eyes from oil splatter.

Make sure the turkey is completely thawed. It is recommended to thaw your turkey in the refrigerator and allow approximately 24 hours for every 5 pounds of bird.

Be careful with marinades. Oil and water don’t mix, and water causes oil to spill over.

Keep an all-purpose fire extinguisher nearby. Never use water to extinguish a grease fire. Immediately call 9-1-1 for help if you have a fire.

Beware of the FOG - Fats, Oils and Grease

Grease is a hazard to the sewer system that many people dispose of in garbage disposals and drains. Even when flushed with hot water, eventually grease will cool in the line and turn to a gel. The grease then coats the lines and causes restrictions to the wastewater flow. Grease can restrict flow in the homeowner’s line, causing the homeowner to call a plumber to remove the grease (at the homeowner’s expense).

What Should You Do with Grease? Never pour grease down the drain. Place small amounts (less than a quart) of oil and grease into sealed containers before disposing in the trash. If you have larger amounts of cooking oil and grease, please call (785) 832-3030 to schedule a drop-off appointment at the City of Lawrence / Douglas County Household Hazardous Waste Facility.

Blue Santa Program is Back for Another Year

What is the Blue Santa program?

Blue Santa

The Lawrence Police Blue Santa Program is a non-profit organization, established by the men and women of the Lawrence, Kansas Police Department. With the help of volunteers from the Lawrence Police Department and Lawrence citizens, this program is able to provide toys and food during the holiday season to those who are less fortunate living within the city limits of Lawrence. Who is eligible for the Blue Santa program?

We are looking for families with children ages 17 and younger, that fall into one or more of the following:

  • Low Income
  • Unemployed
  • Grandparents as Parents
  • Extended Illness

How do I apply for the program?

An online application can be found at or visit us at the Investigations and Training Center, 4820 Bob Billings Parkway or Law Enforcement Center, Records Department, 2nd Floor, 111 E. 11th Street.

How do I volunteer?

Volunteers are needed to help at the Toys for Tots Toy Store, where the applicants pick out the toys for their children, and wrappers are needed to wrap those gifts. Please visit our website at to sign up.

Can I make a donation to the Blue Santa program?

Monetary donations can be made at, click “Donate Online” and choose Lawrence Police Blue Santa from the drop down menu. If you would like to donate $25.00 grocery store gift cards, please drop donations off at Investigations and Training Center or the Law Enforcement Center, Records Department, 2nd Floor, 111 E. 11th Street.

Public Library’s Construction and Renovation Starts Soon!

What You Can Expect:

  • Expanded Library Services - including children’s services and public meeting rooms.
  • A new parking garage adjacent to Library for more downtown parking.

Keep up-to-date with construction information and details by visiting just-for/renovation- construction.

Composting Fall Leaves

Fall leaves are great for composting, adding rich nutrients to your garden’s soil. Composting options for fall leaves and other yard waste include:

Backyard composting - Build your own compost bin or purchase one from the city. Backyard composting bins are available to Lawrence residents for $40 each (limit one per household) by calling the City of Lawrence Waste Reduction and Recycling Division at 832-3030. Visit to learn how to start composting at home today.

Curbside collection of yard waste - If you do not mulch mow or compost at home, or simply have too much material to manage, the city will pick up yard waste on Monday mornings March through mid- December, weather permitting. Residents may set out grass clippings, leaves, and tree and shrub prunings in cans, city carts (trash carts or yard waste carts), and compostable paper yard waste bags.

New yard waste carts available

NEW! The city now sells 95-gallon yard waste carts for $60 each. To purchase, please complete the online form at www. The yard waste carts are designed with vents to prevent b odors from stored yard waste material. These brown carts are for yard waste collection only; no trash, please. Dimensions of the 95-gallon cart are 45.1” x 33.7” x 28.7”.