Prevent A House Fire This Thanksgiving

November 18, 2020

Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires, which increases 350% compared to a regular day, followed by Christmas Day, the day before Thanksgiving and Christmas eve. Kitchen fires are the second leading cause of home fire deaths in 2014-2018. So here are some safety tips to help lower your risk for cooking-related fires. Check to confirm that you have a kitchen fire extinguisher on hand and that you know how to use it, and always keep it behind you while cooking (rather than in a cabinet, a closet or the garage) so you don’t have to reach over flames to get to if needed. It can be easy to get distracted in the kitchen on the big day, but stay focused. Never leave the kitchen while cooking on the stovetop. When cooking a turkey, stay in your home and check on it regularly. Make use of timers to keep track of cooking times, particularly for foods that require longer cook times. Form-fitting apparel is probably the last thing you want to wear while eating the feast, but during your shift of cooking, avoid donning any billowy or loose clothing. Fabric that’s far from the body could catch fire from an oven burner or other heat source. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) strongly discourages the use of turkey fryers, as these can lead to severe burns, injuries and property damage. Instead, if you’re planning to serve a deep-fried turkey, look for grocery stores, food retailers and restaurants that sell them pre-fried. But if you insist, use it outside of your home, and use extreme caution to prevent burns and other injuries. Never put a frozen turkey (even if it’s partially thawed) in a turkey fryer, as it can cause the hot oil to splatter and cause a fire.  Don't overwhelm your electrical outlets. The NFPA recommends using one cord per receptacle outlet. If a fire does break out, remain calm. In the event you have a grease fire on the stove, don’t move the pot or pan. Extinguish it in place. If you don’t have one, use a lid or cookie sheet to safely smother the flames and don’t remove it. If you spy a fire inside the oven, do not open the door. Turn off the oven and allow the contents to cool off before cleaning it. If you can’t contain the fire, evacuate your home and call 911 immediately. U.S. fire departments responded to about 1,630 home cooking fires on Thanksgiving Day in 2019.

SOURCE: Better Homes & Gardens

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