According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), Thanksgiving is the leading day for home fires involving cooking equipment. In fact, in 2015, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 1,760 home cooking fires on Thanksgiving. With proper planning and a cautious eye, families can do their part to ensure that this holiday stays joyous from start to finish. Avoid common mistakes with these Thanksgiving safety tips from the experts at ServiceMaster Restore.
Thanksgiving tips: Cooking safety
Avoid fires on Turkey Day with the following safety tips:
- Inspect fire alarms before Thanksgiving Day. Batteries should be replaced once a year, and each fire alarm should be tested once a month to ensure it still works as intended. Before Thanksgiving, hit the test button on your fire alarms to make sure they can alert you if anything goes wrong during the holiday.
- Check food regularly while you cook. Use timers to remind you when certain items need to be inspected and when others are finished cooking, especially if you’re working on multiple dishes at once.
- Keep children away from the cooking area. There should be at least three feet between young children and the stove to help ensure that they stay safe.
- Clean surfaces regularly to reduce grease buildup. An accumulation of grease could help ignite a fire if one breaks out.
- Keep a fire extinguisher nearby. In the event that a fire does break out, having a fire extinguisher nearby to douse the flames quickly can save you from significant loss and destruction.
- Make sure all cooking equipment is turned off at the end of the day. This includes ovens, stoves, fryers, small appliances and any other items you used to cook your dishes.
- Never leave cooking food unattended. When frying, grilling, boiling or baking, it’s crucial to stay in the kitchen until the food is finished. That way, if an accident happens or a fire does break out, you can react quickly to minimize any damage. If you must leave the kitchen for any period of time, turn off the stove.
- Never wear loose clothing or dangling sleeves while cooking. These items can cause spills, get stained or even catch fire. If you’ll be cooking in the kitchen, wear proper clothing.
- Never keep anything that can catch fire near the stove, oven or other heat-generating appliance. This includes pot holders, oven mitts, food packaging and wooden utensils.
By keeping these cooking safety tips in mind, you can help avoid any accidents this Thanksgiving. As winter approaches, use our winter holiday fire safety tips to help keep your loved ones safe during all your holiday festivities. Then, read our top 3 home fire safety tips to protect your home and your family year-round. From ServiceMaster Restore, we hope you have a wonderful time with your close friends and family during this holiday season.