With Thanksgiving around the corner, the State Fire Marshal is encouraging safe cooking practices during the Holiday. According to the National Fire Protection Association, cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries. In the US, there is an average of 166,100 home fires every year involving cooking equipment. This means that there are 455 fire calls for cooking fires across the US every day on average. Thanksgiving is the leading day for those fires with four times the average number occurring. Stoves and Ranges account for almost three out of every five home fires with ovens accounting for 13% of those.
With family gatherings being smaller, more kitchens are expected to be used than normal which means there are more chances for fire and injury. Fire Marshal Matt Perez says that you should make sure your home has both working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.
Never leave food that you are frying, boiling, or grilling unattended. If you leave the kitchen, make sure you shut off your stove. If you fry your turkey, make sure not to overfill oil in the fryer and fill the pot you plan to use to fry the turkey with water and place the turkey in it. This will help determine just how much oil is actually needed. Use the turkey fryer outdoors only. Make sure the turkey is completely thawed before frying.
Other tips include creating a kids-free zone of at least three feet around the stove. Keep the area around the stove clear of things that are flammable including towels, papers, and potholders. If there is a fire in the oven keep the door shut and turn off the heat. Smother small flames in a pan by sliding a lid over the pan. Turn off the burner and leave the lid over the pan while it cools and if you have any questions about whether you can fight a small fire, get out and call 9-1-1.
For more information visit the NFPA website or the State Fire Marshal’s website.