Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
Thanksgiving is a day when you expect your home to be filled with loud family and friends and the smell of delicious food.
Please take these holiday season precautions to make sure your guests are only yelling about the football game and smelling the delicious turkey; not screaming about a kitchen fire and smelling smoke.
Cooking fires are the leading cause of residential fires, and they are on the rise. On Thanksgiving, the threat of cooking fires in the U.S. triples, so if you want to avoid being one of over 2,000 homes visited by the fire department this Thanksgiving, take these steps before and during cooking to stay safe.
Start by checking your smoke detectors and keeping them on while cooking.
- Make sure your fire extinguisher is in an accessible location in the kitchen.
- Remember, throwing water or flour on a cooking fire can make it worse, so having the fire extinguisher nearby is key.
- If you are going to have helpers in the kitchen make sure they also know not to use water on a fire. Tell them to first try smothering pan fires with a lid and then resort to the fire extinguisher.
- If your kitchen helpers are children, assign them tasks away from the stove and oven because their faces are much closer to the source of the heat.
- Finally, do not wear loose-fitting clothing while you are cooking! Anything that can catch on handles and touch heat sources is dangerous.
Now that you’re ready to cook, there are different safety precautions to follow whether you are preparing your turkey in the oven or in a fryer.
- In the oven, only use oven mitts that have been certified for a high temperature environment. You can burn your hands from exposure to high temperatures if your oven mitts are too thin or too low quality. When your oven mitts are not in use, make certain to leave them far away from other sources of heat.
- If a fried turkey is more your style, take it outside. Turkey fryers should never be used inside and even the garage and porch are too close for comfort. Once your turkey fryer is set up in your backyard, make sure to keep an eye on it at all times and don’t overfill the oil. NEVER put a frozen turkey in hot oil.
Whether you are using an oven or a fryer, your main course needs to thaw in the fridge at a rate of one day for every four pounds. You’ll avoid both a fryer explosion and salmonella that way.
And this a great time to check your smoke and Carbon Monoxide (CO) alarms. Your smoke alarms should be less than ten years old and your CO alarms should be less than seven years old. If you are unsure how old they are, replace them. Regardless of the age, the batteries in both should be replaced every year and Thanksgiving is a great time to do it!
Enjoy and Have a Happy Thanksgiving!