Did you know that Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires?
The National Fire Protection Association estimated that 1,600 home fires were reported in 2016 due to fires in the kitchen. Unattended cooking was the contributing factor in the fires. Cooking equipment was involved in almost half of all reported fires and injuries. When you fry foods, you increase the risk of a cooking fire.
Protect yourself and others by adhering to the following tips:
- Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stove top so you can keep an eye on the food.
- Stay in the home when cooking your turkey, and check on it frequently.
- Keep children away from the stove. The stove will be hot and kids should stay three feet away.
- Make sure kids stay away from hot food and liquids. The steam or splash from vegetables, gravy or coffee could cause serious burns.
- Keep knives out of the reach of children.
- Be sure electric cords from an electric knife, coffee maker, plate warmer or mixer are not dangling off the counter within easy reach of a child.
- Keep matches and utility lighters out of the reach of children — up high in a locked cabinet.
- Never leave children alone in room with a lit candle.
- Keep the floor clear so you don’t trip over kids, toys, pocketbooks or bags.
- Make sure your smoke alarms are working. Test them by pushing the test button.
Deciding on frying a turkey instead? Take extra precautions.
- Choose the right location. Set your deep fryer on level ground far away from the house, garage and shed.
- Make sure the turkey is completely thawed. Otherwise, the ice hits the hot oil, it could cause the oil to rapidly boil over, causing a large and quick spreading fire.
- Keep a fire extinguisher handy.
- Do not overfill the oil. The oil should be filled no higher than the line to ensure that it doesn’t spill over.
- Lower the bird in slowly to prevent overflow or splash.
- Keep pets or small children away from the fryer to protect against injury.
- Because of the tendency to splatter and cause burns or blisters, make sure you wear safety gear like gloves, apron or goggles. The pot, lid and handles can get dangerously hot.
- Use a thermometer.
- Under no circumstances should you leave the fryer unattended!
Sources: nfpa.com, homestructions.com