It’s been said, “Home is where the heart is.” And the heart of a home during the holidays is often in the kitchen. But did you know that more fires occur in the kitchen than in any other room in the house? And that cooking is the leading cause of fires in the home? We estimate an average of about 1,400 cooking fires on Thanksgiving Day each year. This is more than three times the average number of cooking fires each day throughout the rest of the year.
Did you volunteer or have you been nominated to cook the family feast this year? If so, you have a huge responsibility. Not only to ensure the food is scrumptious and provide a warm and delightful atmosphere, but to make sure you don’t burn down the house in the process. So please, don’t be a statistic, keep safety on the menu this holiday season by following these smart CPSC tips:
- Never leave food on the stove or in the oven unattended.
- Avoid wearing loose fitting clothing and long sleeves that can easily catch fire while cooking.
- Keep children away from the cooking area or watch them closely if they insist on being mini chefs.
- Clean and keep surface areas free from grease build up.
- Keep flammable items like potholders and paper or plastic bags away from the stove and oven.
- Turn pan handles toward the back of the stove to prevent accidental knock overs.
- Make sure you have a working smoke alarm in the kitchen as well as on each level of the home, and inside and outside bedrooms.
- Consider installing a photoelectric alarm because it is less likely to nuisance alarm during cooking.
Although a fried turkey is very tasty, it’s not the safest thing to do. Since 2004, CPSC is aware of 107 fire or burn incidents involving turkey fryers that have caused 47 injuries and $5.2 million in property loss. If you must fry your turkey, please gobble up these tips:
- Use turkey fryers outside only and away from your home.
- Never use a turkey fryer in a garage or on a porch.
- Completely thaw and dry turkey before cooking
- Do not overfill the oil in the turkey fryer.
- If oil begins to smoke, immediately turn gas supply OFF.
- Never leave the turkey fryer unattended.
One last note, it’s important to remember that many families have three or more generations living together under the same roof. In these cases, additional attention needs to be given to fire safety planning. For more on that, check out CPSC and the National Fire Protection Association’s joint multigenerational fire safety tool kit.
CPSC wishes you and your family a happy — and safe — Thanksgiving!