Fire Safety Guidelines for Thanksgiving
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) says Thanksgiving Day is the leading day for home cooking fires, with three times as many occurring on Thanksgiving as any other day of the year.
We all know that on Thanksgiving, the kitchen becomes the heart of the house, and that is why it is very important to follow these safety guidelines:
- Even though kids love to be involved in holiday preparations, it is best to have activities such as games, puzzles or books that keep them out of the kitchen during this busy time.
- Always stay in the kitchen while frying, grilling, or broiling food. Turn off the stove if you have to leave the kitchen even for a short period of time.
- Don’t leave the home when cooking your turkey, and check on it frequently.
- Don’t use the stove or stovetop if you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol.
- Keep anything that can catch fire away from the stovetop, such as oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains.
- Keep a lid nearby when cooking to smother small grease fires. Smother the fire by sliding the lid over the pan and turn off the stovetop. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.
- Keep children and pets at least 3 feet away from a hot stove, hot food and liquids. The steam or splash from vegetables, gravy or coffee can 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.
- Make sure electric cords from an electric knife, coffee maker, plate warmer or mixer are not dangling off the counter within easy reach of children or pets.
- Keep matches and utility lighters out of the reach of children — up high in a locked cabinet.
- Use battery-operated candles instead of real candles.
- Make sure your smoke alarms are working. Test them at least once a month by pushing the test button. Also, read our Fire Safety Checklist article.
- Tell guests or visitors to your home about your family's Fire Escape Plan.
- NFPA discourages the use of outdoor gas-fueled turkey fryers that immerse the turkey in hot oil, and urges those who prefer deep fried turkey to consider a new type of "oil-less turkey fryer."
If you have a cooking fire:
- Get out of the house and close the door behind you to help contain the fire.
- Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number from outside the home.
- If you try to fight the fire using the fire extinguisher, make sure others are getting out and you have a clear path out of the home. Also, ask that someone calls the fire department.
- For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.
Be prepared, be safe and have a wonderful Thanksgiving together with your loved ones!
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