November 11, 2016
Thanksgiving is almost here and with it comes family, friends, feasts, festivities…and fires? Unfortunately, yes. According to the Red Cross, Thanksgiving Day historically has the highest rate of house fires compared to any other day of the year. Thankfully, avoiding Thanksgiving safety hazards is usually just a matter of paying attention while you are cooking and using the following fire prevention tips:
Be engaged and engaging. The holidays are about connecting with family and friends, but entertaining guests can also cause distractions that make it easy to forget about what’s cooking in the oven and on the stovetop. To avoid potential fire hazards while you’re cooking, it’s important to stay engaged with the process. Invite guests to gather in the kitchen, or trade kitchen duty among several people so that you can pay attention to the stove, oven, and your guests.
Keep small visitors out of the kitchen. While one of the best fire-prevention measures is to have someone present in the kitchen while food is cooking, this generally means a responsible adult. Keep small visitors such as young children and pets away from the stove and cooking surfaces. Better yet, keep them out of the kitchen altogether.
Tie one on—an apron vs. alcohol, that is. Holidays are certainly the time to celebrate. And if you like a little bit of cheer in the form of alcohol, then please enjoy…but use extra caution if you are going to be cooking. If you have an alcoholic beverage while using the stove (and other kitchen appliances), do so in moderation so that you stay alert.
Clear kitchen clutter. Think about the number of fire hazards around your home, especially during the holiday season—and take action! To avoid a fire insurance claim on Thanksgiving (or any other day), it is important to clear your cooking spaces of things that can catch fire such as oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels, and curtains.
Forgo the fryer. The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) actually discourages the use of turkey fryers, which have become a popular way to cook turkeys. The NFPA’s stance is that fryers can lead to devastating burns and other injuries as well as destruction of property due to the large amount and high temperature of oil used. If you prefer fried turkey, consider buying one at a grocery store or a specialty food retailer that sells them.
Keep these tips in mind while you are preparing your Thanksgiving feast so you can relax and enjoy the holiday with complete peace of mind.
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