Thanksgiving dinner is one of the most eagerly anticipated meals of the year! Friends and family getting together to celebrate and an ideal opportunity for cooks to show off their skills. However, But did you know that Thanksgiving is historically the day in which the greatest number of kitchen fire occur? According to research done by Underwriters Laboratories Thanksgiving is indeed the day of the year for fires originated in the kitchen. Vargas & Vargas offers the following suggestions for kitchen safety to keep your Thanksgiving from becoming a statistic.
Keep on Watch! Stay in the kitchen while food is cooking. Most fires in the kitchen occur because food is left unattended. If you must leave the kitchen briefly, carry an oven mitt with you as a reminder that something is cooking. Don’t leave candles or other open flames unattended.
Take a tip from the top Chefs-Keep the stove free of clutter. Avoid overloading the stovetop with too many pots and pans. Trying to cook all the dishes at once can cause grease to accidentally spill onto a stovetop and erupt into a fire. Follow the example of top chefs…keep your work area clean and uncluttered and only cook with as many pots and pans as there are burners.
Please, DON’T hold a child in one arm while cooking with the other. Holding a child while you are cooking is a recipe for a bad burn for either you or the child- or both! It’s best, if possible, to keep kids out of the kitchen altogether while you’re cooking Thanksgiving dinner. Keep them occupied in another room by having them play with relatives.
DON’T wear loose fitting clothing when cooking. Long, open, flowing sleeves can ignite and catch fire from a gas flame or a hot burner. Wear short, close fitting or tightly rolled sleeves when cooking. If you have long hair, tie it back as it; too, can catch fire.
Always keep a potholder, oven mitt and lid handy while cooking. Be sure when removing lids on hot pans to tilt the pans away from you to protect your face and hands from steam. If there happens to be an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed to prevent flames from burning you or your clothing. If a small fire starts in a pan on the stove, put on a flame-resistant oven mitt and smother the flames by carefully sliding the lid over the pan. Turn off the burner. Don't remove the lid until the food has cooled.
You Can’t Be Too Careful- Be extremely cautious if using a turkey fryer. Because turkey fryers pose a number of distinct safety concerns, including burn and fire hazards, be extremely cautious and read the manufacturer’s directions carefully before using the turkey fryer.
Smoke Alarms Can Save Lives. Keep smoke alarms connected while cooking. Make sure smoke alarms are installed and working.
NEVER Pour Water on a Grease Fire! Pouring water on a grease fire can cause the fire to dangerously spread. Rather smother the flames with a flame resistant towel/ oven mitt…or douse the flames with flour.
KEEP GLASS OFF THE STOVE TOP! Never put a glass casserole or lid on the stove or over a burner. If the glass gets hot and explodes, it will send shards of glass in all directions causing harm to anyone and anything in its path.
Be Prepared! Make sure your home insurance is up-to-date and ready to take on the worst-case scenario. With your family and friends visiting and the hectic kitchen, it is best to be prepared!
Thanksgiving is a day to enjoy family and friends and feast on great food. Follow these helpful Thanksgiving dinner safety tips and enjoy a safe holiday!