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Thanksgiving Cooking Tips

It is Thanksgiving with images of turkey, stuffing, and time spent with family typically come to mind, not fire hazards. However, an increased risk of fire is a reality on Thanksgiving Day. According to the National Fire Protection Association, nearly four times as many home cooking fires occur on Thanksgiving as compared to a typical day. That association’s latest estimates show there were 1,600 home cooking fires on Thanksgiving back in 2017. Statistics show us unattended cooking is the leading cause of home fires. On Thanksgiving, people are often preparing multiple dishes with lots of guests and other distractions. That  can make it all too easy to forget what’s on the stove. Experts say that’s when cooking mishaps are most likely to occur. Here are some of the National Fire Protection Association’s top safety tips for the holiday. First, remain in the kitchen while you’re cooking and keep a close eye on the job at hand. Be sure to check the major dish – the turkey, and do it frequently. Next, keep children at least three feet away from the stove. Be sure to keep an eye on things that can catch fire - such as oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels and curtains – Keep all of that away from the danger areas. Another tip - be alert when cooking. If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol, do not use the stove or stovetop. This important reminder, if you have a small grease fire on the stovetop – do not use water to put out the blaze. Instead, smother the flames by sliding a lid over the pan and turning off the burner. Then leave the pan covered until it is cooled. For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed. Now, this final tip from the experts. If you are cooking a turkey using a disposable aluminum pan, consider doubling up and using two pans to avoid a puncture. Dripping turkey juices can easily cause an oven fire. The National Fire Protection Association discourages the use of turkey fryers. That can lead to serious burns and other injuries as well as the destruction of property due to the high temperature of oil used.  Besides Thanksgiving Day, home cooking fires also spike on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Keep these safety tips in mind in the month ahead.

 

 

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