Whether it’s your first time cooking Thanksgiving dinner, or you’re a veteran holiday host, the fire danger remains the same. Thanksgiving is the peak day of the year for kitchen fires.
Don’t Get Caught Up In Kitchen Chaos
Cooks are often faced with distractions like chatty friends or well-meaning family helpers while trying to get the big feast on the table. Unattended cooking was the leading contributing factor in cooking fires and fire deaths, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Even after a kitchen fire is contained, it can still create dangerous smoke and toxic gases.
Coker Law wants our friends, family, clients and colleagues to have a safe and happy Thanksgiving holiday. Below are some key safety reminders to make sure safety is at the top of your holiday to-do list! You can find a more complete list of holiday safety tips at Consumer Reports.
6 Steps for Preventing a Kitchen Fire
- Stay in the kitchen when using the stovetop, and keep an eye on your cooking.
- Loose clothing can catch fire more easily, so wear a top with short or close-fitting sleeves.
- Keep children at least three feet away from a hot stove.
- Turn handles toward the back of the stove to prevent people from knocking into a handle and spilling scalding food.
- Keep curtains, towels and potholders away from hot surfaces.
- Store solvents and flammable cleaners away from heat sources.
6 Steps for Taking Action in a Kitchen Fire
- Call the fire department (911) immediately.
- If grease or oil in a cooking pan catches fire, do not carry the flaming pan outside; this can make the fire spread. Instead, slide a lid over flames to smother them. Then, turn off the heat and leave the lid in place until the pan cools.
- Extinguish other food fires with a heavy dose of baking soda.
- For an oven or broiler fire, leave the oven door closed and turn off the heat to smother the flames.
- Never use water or flour on any cooking fire.
- Keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen.
It’s worth mentioning that while turkey fryers have grown in popularity, you need to be extremely careful if you’re considering using one. The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports there have been 168 turkey-fryer-related fires, burns, explosions or carbon monoxide poisoning incidents since 2002.
The CPSC reports that 672 people have been injured and $8 million in property damage losses have resulted from outdoor turkey fryers. To be on the safe side, Coker Law encourages fried turkey lovers to purchase that crispy bird from a professional establishment or consider a new oil-less turkey fryer.