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Thanksgiving Fire Safety
Did you know cooking fires are three times more likely to occur on Thanksgiving than any other day of the year? Amid the managed chaos of preparing a holiday meal, accidents are more likely to happen. Follow these tips to help prevent a cooking fire this Thanksgiving:
Clear the Clutter – keep the pots and pans on the cook top at a minimum. Cooking with available burners is more likely to present an opportunity for a grease fire. Plan ahead which dishes you need to start preparing first and leave other dishes requiring less cooking for later in the day.
Don’t Multitask – Whether you are trying to hold a child while cooking or looking up the recipe on your phone or iPad, while juggling other recipes, try to save multitasking for another day when there is less activity in the kitchen.
No Glass on the Burners – Do not rest a glass dish on a hot burner. The glass can heat up and explode, sending shards of glass all over the kitchen.
Water Will Not Knock out a Blaze – If you do happen to have a grease fire break out on the stove, put on an oven mitt and carefully place a lid over the pot, smothering the flames. Keep the lid on until the pot has cooled.
Watch Your Sleeves – Cooking with long sleeves or draping clothing can present opportunities for a fire. Roll up your sleeves and be aware of any loose clothing that could accidently catch fire over an open flame.
Don’t Leave the Kitchen – Although there is a lot to do to prepare a big Thanksgiving meal, do not leave a busy cook top to step out of the kitchen. Either put someone in charge of watching the pots and pans, or delegate other tasks to guests to make sure the cook top is always under supervision.
Keep Children Busy Elsewhere – There are too many opportunities for accidents when children are in the kitchen while you are cooking several dishes. Keep them busy in another room with other family or guests. Also, make sure to keep panhandles turned in and not sticking out over the stove, where little hands could reach up and grab them.
Watch the Kitchen Towels and Potholders – When it gets busy in the kitchen, we may not pay attention to where we set down kitchen towels and potholders, but be especially careful when placing those next to the cook top to make sure they do not come in contact with an open flame.
Be Extra Careful if Frying – If you are frying a turkey, make sure the turkey is completed thawed before placing in hot oil, which could cause the oil to overflow and cause a fire. Also, keep dogs, cats and children away from the hot turkey fryer. For complete safety tips on frying a turkey, please review this information from the National Fire Protection Association.