By Wendy Holdren
According to the National Fire Protection Association, three times as many home cooking fires occur on Thanksgiving Day than any other day of the year.
“Thanksgiving is a fun, festive holiday, but it’s also very hectic,” said Lorraine Carli, vice president of communications for NFPA. “All the entertaining and distractions make it easy to forget about what’s cooking on the stovetop.”
With 1,370 fires on Thanksgiving in 2010, the NFPA is offering the following cooking safety tips to keep those numbers down this holiday season:
1. Always stay in the kitchen while frying, grilling or broiling food. If you have to leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
2. When simmering, baking, roasting or broiling food, check it regularly, remain in the home while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.
3. Stay alert. If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol, don’t use the stove or stovetop.
4. Keep anything that can catch fire such as oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains away from the stovetop.
If a cooking fire does occur:
1. Just get out. When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire.
2. Call 911 or the local emergency number from outside the home.
3. If you try to fight the fire, be sure others are getting out and you have a clear path out of the home, and that someone has called the fire department.
4. Keep a lid nearby when cooking to smother small grease fires. Smother the fire by sliding the lid over the pan and turn off the stovetop. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.
5. For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.
For more information, visit www.nfpa.org.
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