Safety tips for cooking on Thanksgiving

Cooking is the leading cause of residential structure fires on Thanksgiving Day. Cal Fire Madera-Mariposa-Merced Unit (MMU) would like to provide you with a few simple safety tips to help prevent a cooking or residential fire in your home this holiday season.

Never leave your stove, oven, or other cooking equipment unattended.

Many cooking fires are caused by people leaving food in the oven or on the stove and forgetting about it. Food left unattended is the leading factor of cooking fires on Thanksgiving Day. Cooking is a very important activity that requires your undivided attention.

Never misuse cooking equipment.

Only use your cooking appliances for the function they were designed for. Never place electric appliances on the stove top. Do not abandon or discard hot food, oil, pots or pans. Make sure all products are cool to the touch before you discard them.

Check all appliances regularly.

Gas lines should be checked for wear or damage. Check venting of gas appliances for leaks or obstructions. The equipment involved in cooking fires is most often the range.

Thanksgiving Day Safety Tips Cont.

Always have working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in your home.

Less than half of the residential structure fires started by cooking had a smoke alarm present in the home. Please check your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms today.

Use caution when cooking.

Cooking materials, including food, are the first items to ignite and cause a fire. Specifically, oil, fat and grease are highly flammable and can splatter or spill during cooking. They also can cause serious burns. Never attempt to extinguish a grease fire with water; place a cover on the pan, use a kitchen fire extinguisher or smother the fire with baking soda.

It is important to keep children away from hot oils, grease and fat. It is recommended to keep children at least three feet from all appliances or cooking zones. Remember to check all electrical cords on fryers to insure they are not hanging over the counter or a fire hazard themselves.

Cooking fires are preventable. Please follow these easy and straight forward safety steps to prevent cooking fires and protect you and your family from injury or loss during the Thanksgiving Holiday.

Long sleeves and loose fitting clothing should not be worn while cooking, as the cloth may ignite and cause serious injury. It this does happen remember to Stop; Drop and Roll immediately.

- Cal Fire