With the Thanksgiving holiday approaching, the Dix Hills Fire Department reminds local residents that cooking with caution will help prevent a fire or other emergency, and it’s important to be mindful of the safety tips.
“While preparing a Thanksgiving meal is enjoyable for many, it’s critical to keep safety a top priority,” said Dix Hills Chief of Department Richard Granahan. “Something as simple as wearing short sleeves or tight clothing is an important safety measure. Long, loose sleeves hanging over a stove could catch fire from an open flame. Also, keep an eye on what you’re cooking. Most kitchen fires occur when food is left unattended.”
Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). In 2010, cooking was involved in an estimated 156,400 home structure fires that were reported to U.S. fire departments. These fires caused 410 deaths, 5,310 injuries, and $993 million in direct property damage.
Here are cooking safety tips from the Dix Hills Fire Department & NFPA to follow:
- Stay in the kitchen when frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you must leave the kitchen for a short period of time, turn off the stove.
- Always wear an oven mitt and avoid loose sleeves/clothing that could catch fire.
- Keep potholders, dish towels and oven mitts away from the stovetop.
- Keep pot and pan handles pointed inward so that people don’t bump into them.
- Make sure children remain at least three feet away from the stove. Keep them busy with games and activities outside the kitchen.
- The NFPA discourages the use of turkey fryers and recommends the use of oil-less fryers or seek out professional establishments for preparation of this dish.
- In the event of an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the oven door closed.
- For a microwave fire, turn off the power and keep the unit’s door closed.
- For a stovetop fire, cover the burning pan with a tight-fitting lid.
- Never use water in an attempt to extinguish flames.
- Make sure your smoke detectors are working by pushing the test button.