Thanksgiving is a favorite holiday for many people, but it’s also the number one day for home cooking fires across America. It’s easy to lose track of what’s cooking when there are so many tasks involved in planning a holiday meal. However, safety should always be a top priority to ensure a happy holiday for everyone.
Cook With Care
The leading cause of kitchen fires is unattended cooking. When frying, grilling or broiling food, always remain in the kitchen. Feel free to complete other household tasks while simmering, roasting, baking or boiling, but remain in the house and listen for timers going off. Wear clothes that fit snugly, especially while cooking over the stove; dangling sleeves can easily catch fire.
Avoiding and Treating Burns
Use the back burners when possible and turn pan handles inward to reduce the risk of accidental tipping. Protecting your hands is a must when preparing for the holiday. Wear oven mitts or use potholders when handling hot objects.
If you do get burned, immediately submerge your skin in cool water for three to five minutes. If your clothes catch fire, take part in the good ‘ole stop, drop and roll. If any burns appear to be higher than a first degree burn, seek medical help as soon as possible.
To Fight or To Flee?
If you think you can safely fight a small fire, try some of these methods. Keep an oven mitt and pan lid nearby for smothering grease fires that ignite inside a pan. Simply don the oven mitt and slide the lid over the pan, then immediately turn off the burner. If a fire ignites in your oven or microwave, leave the door shut and turn off the appliance right away. Do not open the door until the fire is completely out.
If a fire appears too big to contain or extinguish, exit your home immediately. Close any doors behind you as you leave to prevent spreading. Alert everyone in the house to leave and call 911 on your way out.
The Dangers of Turkey Fryers
Turkey fryers are the biggest fire hazard one can face on Thanksgiving. These top-heavy fryers have a tendency to tip over, spill hot oil and overheat. These appliances should only be used outdoors in a well-ventilated area. Birds must be completely thawed and dried before being lowered slowly into the fryer. Cover your skin to protect against oil splatter. Keep a fire extinguisher nearby and call 911 if a fire ignites.