It is that time of the year again – stuffing, cranberry sauce, football, and leftover turkey sandwiches. Thanksgiving is all about coming together with those who we love, and to give thanks for all the blessings that we have. However, it is also important to be aware of the hazards that come along with cooking large meals and entertaining groups.
More than any other time of the year, cooking fires are most prevalent on Thanksgiving. The leading cause of cooking fires is leaving a stove unattended. Because this time of the year is all about family and friends, cooks often leave the stove to entertain. To avoid fires, always stay within a few steps of your stove, especially gas stoves with open flames. Below is a list of safety tips to keep your family safe this holiday season.
- Before you do any cooking, check your smoke alarms! It is usually recommended to test your smoke alarms every time you change your clocks.
- Never leave your stove unattended – this is especially important for open flame gas stoves.
- In case of a pan fire, turn off the stove immediately. Cover the pan with either a pan lid or a cookie sheet. This will cut off the oxygen supply that fire need to burn. Never try to put out a grease fire with water – water will only make the fire larger.
- Never try to take your pan that is on fire outside or to the sink. Moving the pan will likely only make the fire larger.
- While cooking, always keep exhaust fans on to diffuse smoke.
- If you are burning candles, always keep them at least 12 inches away from anything that could ignite.
- Always keep children away from open flames – it is usually best to put candles up on higher surfaces, out of the reach of children. Also keep pets away from candles, as they may bump them and cause them to fall over.
- Candles should never be left unattended.
- Never leave candles burning during the night. LED candles are great substitutes for open flame candles.
- If you are using a fireplace, only burn one log at a time. Never burn anything in a fireplace that says, “Natural Gas Only.”
- If you are cooking outside, always keep appliances at least ten feet away from buildings. Never cook inside a garage.
- Always keep children away from swimming pools and hot tubs – assign a pool watcher if necessary.
Above all, enjoy this time of the year with your family and friends. The holiday season is all about cherishing the people in our lives and giving thanks for all that we have.