Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Top 10 Ways Not to Burn Thanksgiving Dinner

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, cooking fire incidents spike during Thanksgiving and Christmas time. But it's not just fires. Trips and falls, along with cuts and burns incidents are also high many of which occur while people are preparing their meals.

Thanksgiving can be a whirlwind of cooking and entertaining guests.  To make sure no one gets hurt, Fire administration officials recommend:

·         Stand by your pan, when cooking. Never leave food, grease or oils cooking on the stovetop unattended. Pay attention!

·         When simmering, baking, roasting, or boiling food, check it regularly, remain in the home while it’s cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.

·         Wear short or tight-fitting sleeves when cooking, because loose fitting clothing can easily catch on fire.

·         Keep potholders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, towels, and other things that can catch fire, away from your stovetop.

·         Plug microwave ovens and other cooking appliances directly into an outlet, not an extension cord.

·         Keep children three feet away from the stove.

·         Test fire alarms before a gathering to make sure they are working.

What to do if you have a fire
  • If it’s a small grease fire and you have an oven mitt and lid nearby, smother the flames in the pan by sliding the lid over it. Turn off the burner, and don’t move the pan. Leave the lid on the pan until it has cooled.
  • For an oven fire, turn the heat off and keep the door closed to prevent flames from burning you or your clothes.
  • For a microwave oven fire, turn it off immediately, keep the door closed and unplug the appliance if you can reach it safely. Keep the door closed until the fire is out.
  • If your clothing catches fire, Stop, Drop and Roll to put out the flames.
  • When in doubt, get out, is what the U.S. Fire Administration advises for any fire in the kitchen. If you leave, close the door behind you and call 911. If you decide to stay and fight the fire, make sure others are already out and you have a clear exit path.

One of the larger contributors to Thanksgiving fires in recent years is the increasing popularity of deep-frying turkeys, which uses grease that can become flammable. If you're planning to deep-fry your holiday bird, watch this video to see a first-hand demonstration of what can happen if you don't follow all instructions

Safety around turkey fryers
Before you use a turkey fryer, make sure to read instructions. Many accidents involving turkey fryers are from first-time users.
  • Make sure to use a turkey fryer outside and at a safe distance from buildings or any other combustible material. Also, don’t use a turkey fryer in a garage or on a wooden deck. Be sure it is on a flat surface.
  • Don’t leave the fryer unattended. Most units don’t have thermostat controls, so if you don’t watch it the oil could continue to heat until it catches on fire.
  • To keep oil from spilling over, which can cause fires if the oil hits the burner, never overfill the fryer. Be sure the turkey or Chicken is completely thawed and be cautious of marinades. Water can cause the oil to spill over.
  • Never use water to put out a grease fire. Keep an all-purpose fire extinguisher nearby.

·          Keep children or pets away from the fryer even if it is not in use. The oil inside the cooking pot can remain dangerously hot hours after use.

If a fire starts and has been extinguished, call 9-1-1 anyway and have firefighters make sure it is out.

During this Thanksgiving weekend we wish you a safe and joyous holiday!

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