Thanksgiving dinner is one of the most eagerly anticipated meals of the year and an ideal opportunity for cooks to show off their skills. However, Underwriters Laboratorieshave determined Thanksgiving to be the peak day for kitchen fires. Vargas & Vargas offers the following suggestions for kitchen safety to keep your Thanksgiving from becoming a statistic.
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.
Keep the stove free of clutter. Don’t overload a stovetop with too many pots and pans. Trying to cook all the Thanksgiving dishes at once can cause grease to accidentally spill onto a stovetop and erupt into a fire. Only cook with as many pots and pans as there are burners.
DO NOT hold your child in one arm while cooking with the other. Holding a child while you are cooking is a recipe for a bad burn. It’s best, if possible, to keep your kids out of the kitchen altogether while you’re cooking. Keep them occupied in another room by having them play with relatives.
DO NOT wear loose fitting clothing when cooking. Long, open 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, be sure to 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.
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.
Keep smoke alarms connected while cooking. Smoke alarms can save lives. Make sure smoke alarms are installed and working.
DO NOT pour water on a grease fire. Pouring water on a grease fire can cause the fire to dangerously spread.
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 from Vargas & Vargas Insurance and enjoy a safe holiday!