The kitchen is the heart of the home, especially at Thanksgiving. From testing family recipes to decorating cakes and cookies, everyone enjoys being part of the preparations. Kids especially love to be involved in holiday preparations. However, safety in the kitchen is important, especially on Thanksgiving Day when there is a lot of activity and people at home.
Thanksgiving is the leading day of the year for home fires involving cooking equipment. The average number of reported home fires in the United States on Thanksgiving Day is more than double the average number of home fires on all other days. According to the National Fire Protection Association and the United States Fire Administration, Thanksgiving Day fires in residential buildings occurred most frequently from noon to 3 p.m., when many people most likely were preparing Thanksgiving dinner. These fires then declined throughout the evening.
As you start preparing your holiday schedule and organizing that large family feast, remember to play it safe! E.S.C.A.P.E. Fire Safety offers a few simple tips so you can enjoy time with your loved ones and keep yourself and your family safer from fire.
Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stovetop or cooking your turkey so you can keep an eye on the food and check on it frequently.
Keep kids away from the stove. Maintain a three-foot kid free zone away from things that are hot and can burn (the stove, oven, microwave, or food).
Make sure kids stay away from hot food and liquids. The steam or splash from vegetables, gravy, or coffee could cause serious burns.
Have activities that keep kids out of the kitchen during this busy time. Games, puzzles, or books can keep them busy. Kids can get involved in Thanksgiving preparations with recipes that can be done outside the kitchen.
Be on alert! If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol, don’t use the oven or stovetop.
Keep the floor clear so you don’t trip over kids, toys, pets, pocketbooks, or bags.
Keep knives, utility lighters, and matches out of the reach of children. Place these tools up high in a locked cabinet.
Never leave children or pets alone in a room with a lit candle. When you leave the room, extinguish the candle.
Make sure your smoke alarms are working and are located on every level of your home. Test them by pushing the test button, replace batteries annually and replace alarms every 10 years.
Never place smoke alarms in the kitchen or immediately outside the bathroom where cooking odors or steam from the shower can cause nuisance activations.
Keep exits clear and accessible. In case of a fire, everyone in the home needs immediate access to the closest exit leading outside.
If your family needs a new smoke alarm and you are unable to obtain one, contact your local fire department or e-mail email@example.com to learn about the Operation Save A Life smoke alarm installation program close to Where You Live!
Our homes will be filled with family and friends in the days and weeks ahead, so now is a good time to go over safety tips to help keep everyone safe this holiday season. Firefighter Michael McLeieer of E.S.C.A.P.E. and Jake the Fire Safety Dog have these tips:
•Be on alert! Don’t cook if you’re sleepy or have consumed alcohol
•Stand by your pan! Don’t leave the kitchen while you are cooking. If you do, turn off the stove.
•Set a timer to remind you that you are cooking
•Keep all flammables away from the stovetop
•Turn handles of pots and pans to the side (inside)
•Wear short or tight sleeves when cooking
•Cook on back burners first
•Keep kids away from cooking area – maintain a three-foot kid-free zone
•Have activities set up to keep kids out of the kitchen
•Double check to make sure burners are off when you’re finished
•Make sure your smoke alarms are working
Other Safety Tips:
•Put your prescriptions away. Pills look like candy to kids.
•Introduce visiting kids to pets gently or use a baby gate to keep them apart