Stuff your Thanksgiving with safety
If we were to play a word association game, we would make a strong wager that the word “Thanksgiving” would immediately conjurer up thoughts of “food”, “feast”, “turkey”, “dinner”, “meal”. Of all holiday celebrations, Thanksgiving is most definitely the one that revolves around food the most (although we’d have to rank Halloween sweets and 4th of July burgers as close runner-ups).
But alongside all the food stuffed into the Thanksgiving Day (pardon our pun!), it also means a lot of cooking and baking. Which also means an increased chance for accidents and fires to happen — after all, cooking is the #1 cause of home fires in America. And although our Red Cross volunteers will be ready to respond, holiday-or-not, we’d prefer that everyone stays safe this season. So we compiled a list of safety tips to keep in mind while your roasting the turkey and mashing the potatoes. (Then be sure to take our Thanksgiving quiz to test your safety knowledge!)
- Start by not wearing loose clothing or dangling sleeves while cooking. Never leave cooking food unattended – stay in the kitchen when frying, grilling or broiling food. If you must leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove
- Check your food regularly while cooking and remain in the home while cooking. Use a timer to remind yourself that the stove or oven is on.
- Keep the kids away from the cooking area. Enforce a “kid-free zone” and make them stay at least three feet away from the stove.
- Keep anything that can catch fire – pot holders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, and towels or curtains—away from your stove, oven or any other appliance in the kitchen that generates heat.
- Clean cooking surfaces on a regular basis to prevent grease buildup.
- Consider purchasing a fire extinguisher to keep in your kitchen. Contact your local fire department to take training on the proper use of extinguishers.
- Always check the kitchen before going to bed or leaving the home to make sure all stoves, ovens, and small appliances are turned off.
- Install a smoke alarm near your kitchen, on each level of your home, near sleeping areas, and inside and outside bedrooms if you sleep with doors closed. Use the test button to check it each month. Replace all batteries at least once a year.