With regards to cooking fires and fire deaths, unattended cooking was by far the leading contributing factor. Cooking equipment was involved in almost half of all reported home fires and home fire injuries, and it is the second leading cause of home fire deaths. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) offers the following safety tips to ensure you have a fire free Thanksgiving:
- Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stove-top so you can keep an eye on the food.
- Stay in the home when cooking your turkey and check on it frequently.
- Keep children away from the stove. The stove will be hot and kids should stay 3 feet away.
- Make sure kids stay away from hot food and liquids. The steam or splash from vegetables, gravy or coffee could cause serious burns.
- Keep the floor clear so you don’t trip over kids, toys, pocketbooks or bags.
- Keep knives out of the reach of children.
- Be sure electric cords from an electric knife, coffee maker, plate warmer or mixer are not dangling off the counter within easy reach of a child.
- Keep matches and utility lighters out of the reach of children — up high in a locked cabinet.
- Make sure your smoke alarms are working. Test them by pushing the test button.
Thinking of frying your turkey?
The NFPA discourages the use of outdoor gas-fueled turkey fryers that immerse the turkey in hot oil. They continue to believe that turkey fryers that use cooking oil, as currently designed, are not suitable for safe use by even a well-informed and careful consumer. These turkey fryers use a substantial quantity of cooking oil at high temperatures and units currently available for home use pose a significant danger that hot oil will be released at some point during the cooking process. In addition, the burners that heat the oil can ignite spilled oil. The use of turkey fryers by consumers can lead to devastating burns, other injuries, and the destruction of property. The NFPA urges those who prefer fried turkey to seek out professional establishments, such as grocery stores, specialty food retailers, and restaurants, for the preparation of the dish, or consider a new type of "oil-less" turkey fryer."
Finally, if you have kids that are anxious to help in the kitchen, here are some tips to keep them safe and appropriate tasks they can help with.