Thanksgiving is just a few days away and it is a time when family and friends gather to prepare meals and test out new and old family recipes. Keeping fire safety at the top of everyone’s mind in the kitchen during a joyous occasion is very important. The kitchen can be filled with so many people and can be hectic. Keeping the following information and a few safety tips in mind will help to prevent a tragic accident from occurring.
Statistics: (Courtesy of the National Fire Protection Association - NFPA)
Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires, followed by Christmas Day and Christmas Eve.
In 2014, nearly four times as many home cooking fires occur on Thanksgiving as on a typical day.
In 2014, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 1,730 home cooking fires on Thanksgiving, the peak day for such fires.
Unattended cooking was by far the leading contributing factor in cooking fires and fire deaths.
Cooking equipment was involved in almost half (48%) of all reported home fires and civilian deaths and tied with heating equipment for the second leading cause of home fire deaths.
Safety Tips: (Courtesy of the National Fire Protection Association - NFPA)
Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stovetop so you can keep an eye on the food.
Stay in the home when cooking your turkey and food and check on it frequently.
Keep children away from the stove. The stove will be hot and kids should stay 3 feet away.
Make sure kids stay away from hot food and liquids. The steam or splash from vegetables, gravy or coffee could cause serious burns.
Keep the floor clear so you don’t trip over kids, toys, pocketbooks or bags.
Keep knives out of the reach of children.
Be sure electric cords from an electric knife, coffee maker, plate warmer or mixer are not dangling off the counter within easy reach of a child.
Keep matches and utility lighters out of the reach of children — up high in a locked cabinet.
Never leave children alone in room with a lit candle.
Make sure your smoke alarms are working. Test them by pushing the test button.
Turkey fryers that use oil for cooking, even by best home chefs can be extremely dangerous. They require the use of a substantial amount of cooking oil at extremely high temperatures which could result in fires, property damage and severe burns or injuries. Typically what happens is the oil can spill out contacting the flames and causing a large fire or the cooking oil falls on to or splashes on to someone causing the burns or injuries. If you prefer fried turkeys as a part of your Thanksgiving feast, seek out a professional establishment such as a grocery store, restaurant or specialty food retailer. A safe and equally as delicious alternative is the use of “oil-less” turkey fryers.
Video References (Turkey Fryer Fires)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HYvMWIvghnQ > U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yObDuYTfudY > Underwriters Laboratories