Cal Fire wishes to remind the public that while the kitchen is the heart of the home, especially on Thanksgiving, there are several important tips to keep the house safe.
Cooking is, and has been, the leading cause of home structure fires and home fire injuries, and according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), home cooking fires peak on major U.S. holidays that traditionally involve cooking such as Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Easter.
NFPA statistics show that in 2013, Thanksgiving Day was the leading date for home cooking fires with 1,550, 230% above the average number of fires per day nationally.
Unattended cooking was by far the leading contributing factor in cooking fires and fire-related deaths. Cooking equipment is the leading cause of home structure fires, and associated civilian injuries, and was the third leading cause of home fire deaths.
To help prevent kitchen fires, Cal Fire offers the following safety tips:
☆ Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stovetop so you can keep an eye on the food.
☆ Stay in the home when cooking your turkey and check on it frequently.
☆ When you are simmering, baking, or roasting food, check it regularly, and use a timer for reminders.
☆ Keep children away from the stove. It will be hot and kids should stay three feet or further away.
☆ Make sure kids stay away from hot food and liquids. The steam or splash from vegetables, gravy, or coffee could cause serious burns.
☆ Keep the floor clear so you don’t trip over kids, toys, pocketbooks, or bags.
☆ Keep knives out of the reach of children.
☆ Be sure electric cords from an electric knife, coffee maker, plate warmer or mixer are not dangling off the counter within easy reach of a child.
☆ Keep matches and utility lighters out of the reach of children, such as locked in a cabinet.
☆ Never leave children alone in a room with a lit candle.
☆ Keep potholders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper and plastic bags, towels, and anything else that can burn away from your stovetop.
☆ Make sure smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms are working. Test them.
☆ Turn pot handles toward the back of the stove, so no one can bump them or pull them over.
☆ Keep a pan lid or baking sheet nearby, use it to cover the pan if it catches flame.
It is a recipe for serious injury or even death to wear loose clothing (especially hanging sleeves), walk away from a cooking pot on the stove, or leave flammable materials around the stove. Whether you are cooking the family holiday dinner or a snack for the children, always practice safe cooking behaviors.
There is an additional danger of fire, injury, or death if equipment is used for a purpose which it was not intended.
Cal Fire wishes you and yours a very safe and happy Thanksgiving.
Details: fire.ca.gov, or visit your area fire station.