When we think of Thanksgiving most people picture a big, juicy turkey, stuffing, gravy, and mashed potatoes. A great meal is at the heart of Thanksgiving Day and that means plenty of time spent cooking in the kitchen. With extra people in the house, more alcohol consumed, and multiple cooking elements going at once, it’s no wonder that cooking fires are almost double that of any other day. Cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries on Thanksgiving Day and Thanksgiving Day is the number one day of the year for home fires involving cooking equipment. Thanksgiving Day home fires are particularly dangerous as they cause more property damage and claim more lives than home fires on other days.
Thanksgiving Cooking Safety Tips
Kids love to help in the kitchen which makes it especially important to follow good safety procedures while cooking. Even if you have no children around, it is still important to stay vigilant about Thanksgiving cooking safety.
- Stay in the kitchen while your stove burners are on to keep an eye on the food.
- Do not leave your home while a turkey is in the oven and check on it often.
- Keep children at least three feet away from the stove.
- Keep kids away from hot food and liquids.
- Be cautious around steam or splashing water from cooking vegetables, gravy, or coffee as it could cause serious burns.
- Offer activities that keep kids out of the kitchen during cooking. Keep the kitchen floor clear of toys and bags to avoid a tripping hazard.
- Check that electric cords from an electric knife, mixer, coffee maker, or plate warmers are not dangling off the counter where a child could grab them.
- Make sure your smoke alarms are working. You can test them by pushing the test button.
Deep-Fry Turkey Safety Tips
Deep frying a turkey can be particularly dangerous if proper safety procedures are not followed. Observe these safety tips to avoid a house fire:
- Deep fry the turkey outside, a fair distance from the house and never under an enclosure.
- Make sure the turkey is completely thawed and dry when placing it in the fryer (oil and water don’t mix).
- Keep animals and kids away from the deep fryer for their own safety and so they don’t accidently knock it over.
- Do not drink or do drugs; you will need all your wits about you.
- Do not use too much oil as many accidents occur when excess oil spills over the pot.
- Oil should be no more than half an inch above the turkey.
- Turn off the fryer immediately if any smoke appears.
- Never leave a fryer unattended.
- Center the pot over the burner.
- Raise and lower the turkey slowly to reduce the chance of splatters and burns.
- Make sure your skin is completely covered when you deposit, check on or remove the turkey.
- Check on the oil temperature frequently.
- If a fire ignites, call 911 immediately. DO NOT attempt to extinguish the fire with water.
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