Thanksgiving and the holiday season are special times for family and friends to gather; sharing and making memories, while enjoying delicious family recipes.
The Thanksgiving holiday is also the nation’s leading time of year for fires and injuries caused by cooking, according to the U.S. Fire Administration. Cooking multiple dishes simultaneously for a Thanksgiving feast, along with hosting party guests, can cause distractions which may lead to accidents.
Keeping fire safety top of mind in the kitchen during this joyous time is important, especially when there’s a lot of activity and people at home:
Don’t leave cooking food unattended
Never, ever leave a stove, oven or grill unsupervised, not even for a minute. If leaving the kitchen, even if only for a short period of time, turn off the stove. Carry around a spatula or ladle to mentally remind yourself that something is cooking on the stove. Or use a timer to tell you to check on something cooking.
Anything that can catch fire – potholders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels – should be kept away from the range, oven or any other appliance in the kitchen generating heat.
Face pot and pan handles out of reach
While cooking, turn your pot handles to the side. A handle hanging over the edge of a stovetop is very tempting for small children to grab, and makes for an easy target to run into, causing hot food to spill. Keep hot pots on the stove back burners to avoid these mishaps. Also, avoid wearing loose clothing or sleeves that can catch fire or become stuck on handles.
Children and pets
Keep kids and pets away from cooking areas and at least several feet away from the stove and grill. Both children and pets are “curious” about food being prepared. Small children may want to “help” the adults cook, while pets are attracted by the smell of food. Consider installing a temporary safety gate to cordon off the kitchen or having another adult keep the children entertained with activities in another area.
While popular for cooking turkeys and other holiday-style meats, deep fryers also use oil at a very high temperature. Always use a fryer in an outside area with good ventilation; never use a turkey fryer indoors, in a garage, or on a covered patio. Don’t overfill the fryer with oil. And keep children and pets away as the container with hot oil can easily tip over.
Be prepared for emergencies
In the event a pot or pan quickly boils over or food overcooks, make sure protective potholders or oven mitts are within reach to prevent serious burns. Also, keep a fire extinguisher nearby in your kitchen and other cooking areas.
From all of us at DTRIC, we wish you a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!