Thanksgiving Day conjures up delicious images for thousands of American families. Unfortunately, cooking is the leading cause of home fires on Thanksgiving Day. In fact, according to the American Red Cross, cooking fires nearly double on Thanksgiving Day, causing more property damage and claiming more lives than home fires on other days. These statistics alone provide us with the impetus to take the necessary precautions and safeguard our families and homes on one of our most memorable holidays.
TURKEY DAY SAFETY
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), unattended cooking is the primary cause of residential fires. With this in mind, it’s important for cooks to avoid distractions and to keep kids out of the kitchen, especially when appliances are continuously on.
By following some basic best practices, you can help reduce risks and help ensure your home is fire-free. Most important of all, stay in the kitchen to keep an eye on your food (so, in other words, don’t go check your e-mails while your food is cooking)!
- Avoid wearing loose clothing or dangling sleeves while cooking.
- Turn the stove or fryer off when you leave the kitchen, and double check everything is off before going to bed.
- Clean your stovetop to reduce clutter and prevent grease accumulation.
- Install a fire extinguisher near a kitchen exit.
- Test smoke alarms before guests arrive.
- Turn pot handles inward, and keep lids handy to smother overflowing pans or grease fires.
- Be sure electric cords don’t dangle near burners or from countertops.
- Use oven mitts or potholders to reduce the risk of burns. Keep them away from heat-generating appliances so they don’t catch on fire.
- Download the Red Cross First Aid app, which shows you how to handle common first aid emergencies.
- If you must use a turkey fryer, make sure it is outdoors and in an open area.