Editor's note: This article was provided Fort Carson Directorate of Emergency Services
Fort Carson, Colo. - For most, the kitchen is the heart of the home, especially during the holidays. From testing family recipes, to baking pies and decorating cookies, everyone enjoys being part of the preparations.
Keeping fire safety on top of the mind in the kitchen during this joyous but hectic time is important, especially when there’s a lot of activity and people at home. As you start preparing your holiday schedule and organizing that large family feast, remember, by following a few simple safety tips you can enjoy time with loved ones and keep yourself and your Family safe from fire.
Thanksgiving by the numbers:
· Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires, followed by the day before Thanksgiving and Christmas Day and Christmas Eve.
· Each year between 2017 to 2019, an estimated average of 2,300 residential building fires were reported to fire departments in the U.S. on Thanksgiving Day.
· Unattended cooking was by far the leading contributing factor in cooking fires and fire deaths.
· Cooking equipment was involved in almost half of all reported home fires and home fire injuries, and it is the second leading cause of home fire deaths.
· Stay in the kitchen when cooking on the stovetop to keep an eye on the food.
· Stay in the home when cooking the turkey and check on it frequently.
· Keep children away from the stove. The stove will be hot, and kids should stay three feet 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, bags, etc.
· 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 by putting them up high in a locked cabinet.
· Never leave children alone in a room with a lit candle.
· Make sure your smoke alarms are working. Test them by pushing the button.
National Fire Protection Agency continues to believe that turkey fryers that use cooking oil, as currently designed, are not suitable for safe use by even a well-informed and careful consumer. These turkey fryers use a substantial quantity of cooking oil at high temperatures and units currently available for home use pose a significate danger that hot oil will be released at some point during the cooking process. In addition, the burners that heat the oil can ignite any spilled oil. The use of turkey fryers by consumers can lead to devastating burns, other injuries and the destruction of property. NFPA urges those who prefer fried turkey to seek out professional establishments, such as grocery stores, specialty food retailers, and restaurants, for the preparation of the dish, or consider a new type of “oil-less” turkey fryers.
Thanksgiving is a time of food, fun and fellowship with loved ones. And as you sit down with Family and friends this Thanksgiving, Fort Carson Fire & Emergency Service want you to be safe. So please learn what you can do to protect your loved ones during the holidays. Visit www.nfpa.org/holiday for more information and safety tips.