Whether you’re welcoming family and friends to your home this Thanksgiving, or you’re traveling to celebrate the holiday with others, we want you to stay safe and protected. With all the homemade – or reheated – food, it’s no wonder, that, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), Thanksgiving is the leading day of the year for home fires involving cooking equipment. On Thanksgiving 2019, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 1,400 home cooking fires, and unattended cooking was the leading contributing factor.
Here are a few simple ways to stay safe this holiday:
- Stay near the stove when cooking, so you can keep an eye on the food and check it frequently.
- Set a kitchen timer to remind you when to check on food in the oven.
- Keep children away from the stove, hot foods, and liquids. Steam or splashes from cooking foods can cause serious burns or eye injuries.
- Be sure that electric cords are not dangling off countertops and are out of reach of children.
- Make certain matches, candles, and utility lighters are out of reach, and never leave children alone in a room with a lit candle or open flame.
- Keep the floors clear, so you don’t trip over children, pets, toys or other items.
- Every home needs at least one residential fire extinguisher, and now is a great time have an additional one dedicated to the kitchen, as well as one for every floor in your home. Check your at-home fire extinguishers every month or so, just to be on the safe side.
- Most importantly, make sure your smoke detectors are working. A good rule of thumb is to check every smoke detector in your home once a month.
Finally, if you are deep-frying a turkey, here are some additional precautions:
- Keep the turkey fryer away from the house – set up the rig more than 10 feet from your home. Do not fry a turkey in your garage!
- Find flat ground – keep the oil even and steady by placing it on a flat surface, and carefully gauge the amount of oil needed.
- Use a thawed and dry turkey — extra water will cause the oil to bubble furiously and spill over. If oil spills from the fryer onto the burner, it can cause a fire.
- Monitor the temperature — many fryers do not have thermostats and can get very hot. As a result, the lid and handles can cause severe burns if touched.
- Be prepared – have a fire extinguisher (multi-purpose, dry-powder) ready at all times.
- Wear full length pot holders to protect your hands and forearms when working with the turkey fryer.
From our families to yours, best wishes for a safe and happy Thanksgiving.