Guest Column: Thanksgiving cooking safety tips

0
271

Thanksgiving signifies the beginning of the holiday season, and many of us will be spending more time in the kitchen preparing for the holidays. Thanksgiving Day is the leading day for home cooking fires, with three times as many occurring on Thanksgiving than any other day of the year. In 2010, there were 1,370 fires on Thanksgiving, a 219 percent increase more than the daily average. 

Thanksgiving is a fun, festive holiday, but it’s also very hectic. All the entertaining and distractions make it easy to forget about what’s cooking on the stovetop. 

These fires are preventable by simply being more attentive to the use of cooking materials and equipment. Don’t become a cooking fire casualty. 

Here are some facts about cooking fire safety: 

•Be careful wearing loose clothing around open flames on the stove 

•Use a timer and notes to remind yourself of cooking times in the oven 

•Be careful using candles at the dinner table (especially if toddlers are present) 

•Use oven mitts when handling hot pots and pans

•Do not cool hot pans with water if grease is in them 

*Have a fire extinguisher nearby and know how to use it 

•Stay alert. If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol, don’t use the stove or stovetop. 

If you have a cooking fire: 

1. Just get out! When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire. 

2. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number from outside the home. 

3. If you try to fight the fire, be sure others are getting out, that you have a clear path out of the home, and that someone has called the fire department. 

4. Keep a lid nearby when cooking to smother small grease fires. Smother the fire by sliding the lid over the pan and turn off the stovetop. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled. 

5. For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed. 

Happy Thanksgiving!