Updated: Maryland Fire Marshal: Drinking and Cooking Don't Mix - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Updated: Maryland Fire Marshal: Drinking and Cooking Don't Mix

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HAGERSTOWN, Md. (AP/WBOC)- The Maryland State Fire Marshal's Office says drinking and cooking don't mix.

That's one of the tips in a statement about holiday fire safety that the office issued Monday. While having a drink while preparing dinner may seem harmless enough, the agency says consuming alcoholic beverages while cooking can reduce alertness. 

Salisbury Fire Department Assistant Chief Bryan Records said, "The quantity that you drink has a direct bearing on it and the actions that you take whether that be driving or staying at home cooking, it affects it either way and it can have some pretty serious results if you're not paying attention."

Records said those results can vary from automatic alarms to full blown house fires.

"We'll get there and usually the scenario goes that the person had been out drinking came home and decided they would heat something up or cook it and fell asleep," he said. "It's very easy to do and we see it quite often, particularly on weekends."

If you choose to make alcohol a part of your meal preparation, Records recommends having someone with you who hasn't been drinking, much like a designated driver.

On a related note, the fire marshal's office also recommends keeping children and pets out of the kitchen while food is being prepared.

And the agency advises holiday hosts to test their smoke alarms and make sure that guests know about all available exits in case of a fire.

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