Thanksgiving safety tips for cooks
Everyone looks forward to Thanksgiving Day, from preparations, to the cooking, and especially getting together with friends and family to savor a delicious meal, tell stories and create memories. Some Thanksgivings are more memorable than others; the idea is to create the best kind of memories, as the host and as the guest.
Thanksgiving is the day for home cooks to shine, but because cooking causes around 69 percent of Thanksgiving Day fires, here are ways to avoid a kitchen disaster on Thanksgiving, or any other day. You won’t want to have to use your renter’s insurance as a result of a culinary mishap this holiday.
Most of the cooking fires happen as a result of unattended cooking. Even though it’s easy to get distracted as the host through the arrival of guests and serving appetizers, the first rule is to not walk away from a stove or appliance in use.
Select your cooking clothes carefully; avoid loose-fitting clothing while cooking as the fabric can catch fire. And your sleeves – make sure you roll them tightly beforehand.
Carbon monoxide is not something you want to play with, so check your carbon monoxide and smoke alarms to be in good order. Also, turn on the kitchen fan or vents and open windows periodically.
In the event that a fire starts in a pan on your stove, turn off the stove and cover the pan with a lid. You can also use a fire extinguisher to put it out. Never ever try to kill a stove fire with water, flour, or anything else you have around in your kitchen as these can cause a flare-up.
In case the fire starts in your oven, turn off the oven, keep the door closed, and call 911. Wait for the firefighters outside.
Keep a fire extinguisher handy and make sure everyone in your residence knows how to use it.
If you’re a fan of deep-fired turkey, keep the following in mind:
- Don’t use the fryer indoors
- Keep it at a safe distance from buildings and flammable items
- When preparing the turkey, make sure it’s completely thawed and dry
- Keep children and pets away
Hot grease shouldn’t be thrown in the garbage; let it cool and discard it in a covered metal can.
Once you finished cooking, before going to bed check to make sure the oven, turkey fryer/BBQ, and stove burners are off, candles too, and if you have a fireplace, make sure the chimney damper is open.