The kitchen is the ‘heart’ of most homes, especially on Thanksgiving when we celebrate our gratitude for food, family, and plenty. Cooking fires, however, are the number one cause of home fires and fire-related injuries, so it’s important to take a minute to review some important Thanksgiving day fire safety tips before the big day.
Be Present in the Kitchen When Food is on the Stovetop
When food is on the stovetop, it is more exposed to the surrounding people – including children – and less protected than food that is cooking in the oven. Our kitchens get crowded during the holidays and there is a lot of movement that can cause a hot pot to be pushed off the stove and onto the people and floor nearby. Kitchen accidents like these can cause burns and an emergency room trip that can ruin the day.
Stay at Home with a Turkey Cooking in the Oven
It can be tempting to turn on the oven and head out for a hike with the family or to the grocery store for last minute items, but turkeys are notorious for causing kitchen fires – even in the oven.
Make sure that your fire extinguisher is holiday ready.
Reconsider using an outdoor gas-fueled turkey fryer (the National Fire Protection Association discourages their use)
Test your smoke alarms ahead of the holiday season
Review the Positioning of Appliances and Cords
Many families gather to prepare and cook their Thanksgiving meal together. All those extra people and appliances in the kitchen can cause a jumble of cords and the potential to trip or get tangled. Cords attached to heated items, such as plate warmers or mixers with potatoes or gravy, should be carefully tucked away from reaching children and moving limbs of busy adults.
Clutter, Kids, Dogs, and some Adults – Out of the Kitchen!
When you are moving about with hot food, it’s important to keep the way clear so you don’t trip over purses, bags, oranges, kids, dogs, cats and, in some cases, inebriated adults. Everyone who should be out of the way should stay out of the kitchen for their own safety and yours. Tell them they will get dinner faster if they stay out of the way.
Light Candles Only in Occupied Rooms
Candlelight is beautiful and evocative of the season, but candles left alone when everyone leaves the room can be a dangerous fire hazard. Lit candles are a common cause for house fires. They can fall of or be knocked off flat surfaces and easily catch the carpet, drapes, and chair covers on fire.
Thanksgiving is a purely American holiday, but so is your local fire department. Put some thought into how to keep everyone safe so that you don’t have to meet the fire department face-to-face this Thanksgiving. Have a wonderful day!
Andrew MacDonald has been performing infrared inspections on homes in Elgin, Algonquin, St. Charles, and surrounding towns for over a decade. If you suspect your home could benefit from an infrared inspection, request a return call today and we’ll tell you how we can help.
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