Thanksgiving 2022 | Kitchen Fire Prevention Strategies
The holidays are a time for friends, family, and a whole lot of aromatic, delicious cooking.
With that extra time in the kitchen comes a higher risk of home fires. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the risk of kitchen fires is twice as high on Thanksgiving compared to the rest of the year.
Cooking is the main cause of these fires. But with the following safety tips in your toolkit, we’re confident you’ll be prepared to have a safe and festive Thanksgiving.
Cooking-Related Fire Safety Tips
Here are some tips to promote a safe cooking environment:
Stay in the kitchen while using the stovetop.
If the stove is on, you should be in the immediate vicinity (no exceptions here!). Even if you’re just sautéing vegetables in olive oil, make a point of never leaving your stovetop unattended.
Keep lids near your pans.
Speaking of the stovetop, always keep lids on hand while you’re cooking. If you have a small fire, slip the lid onto the pan and turn off the burner. Keep the cover on until the pan fully cools.
Don’t leave the house while cooking a turkey.
Think you can step out and run a few errands while your turkey is roasting? Think again. It’s better to be safe than sorry, and you should absolutely stay close while your bird is in the oven.
Keep the oven door closed in the event of a fire.
If you do experience a small oven fire, turn the temperature all the way down. Keep the oven door closed, and only open it when you are certain the fire is completely extinguished.
Monitor cooking times.
Whether you use an egg timer, an oven timer, or your cell phone timer, you should definitely keep track of all your cooking times. This can go a long way in helping to prevent a kitchen fire.
Maintain a safe cooking environment.
Create a safe and friendly Thanksgiving kitchen atmosphere. This means keeping oven mitts, wooden utensils, and kitchen towels at least a few feet away from the stove.
Wear kitchen-friendly clothing.
We understand that Thanksgiving is a rather chilly holiday. However, long sleeves and loose fabrics can easily come into contact with a heat source and start a potential fire. Dress with safe cooking in mind.
Turkey Fryer Safety Tips
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) isn’t fully onboard with outdoor gas-fueled turkey fryers. (These are the fryers that immerse birds in hot oil.) The NFPA encourages oil-less turkey fryers for those who prefer deep-fried turkey.
Families who do opt for a traditional turkey fryer should follow these tips while handling their bird:
Only use the turkey fryer outside.
Place the fryer on a sturdy, level surface. Keep other people and pets at a safe distance.
Measure the right amount of oil.
Don’t go overboard filling your pot. Test the turkey in advance to figure out the right amount of oil.
Keep a fire extinguisher nearby.
Never use water to put out a turkey fryer fire.
Fully defrost the turkey before frying it.
This will keep hot oil from splattering onto you or any objects or people around you.
Don’t overheat your fryer.
A conventional cooking thermometer makes checking the temperature easy.
Wear cooking gloves when handling the turkey fryer.
These gloves will protect your hands while you use the fryer.
Kitchen Safety Tips for Kids
Most adults understand the importance of exercising caution in the kitchen. Yet kids like to be involved in the holiday festivities too. Here are some Thanksgiving kitchen safety tips for children:
Maintain a clear floor.
Clear all toys, bags, and other miscellaneous items before cooking. This will keep people from tripping.
Keep kids at least three feet from the stove.
This is a good rule of thumb for protecting kids from hot liquids, scalding stovetops, and warm ovens.
Place knives and lighters out of reach.
Most children know to steer clear of these items, but you still want to maintain a safe environment.
Tuck away kitchen cords.
You don’t want your toddler to yank on the cord of your coffee maker, toaster, or mixer.
Get kids involved outside the kitchen.
Don’t leave your kids in the kitchen unattended. If they really want to help you cook, set up a stirring station in another room.
If you do experience an out-of-control kitchen fire this Thanksgiving, call 911 immediately. If you use your fire extinguisher, make sure you and others have a clear exit out of the home. Tell the people around you to move outside promptly, and have someone call the fire department if you haven’t already.
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Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!
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