According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), Thanksgiving Day sees more home fires involving cooking equipment than any other day of the year. With extra people and activity in the home, as well as the extensive cooking taking place, it is not surprising that fire hazards increase on Thanksgiving.
You can follow some of the NFPA’s tips for Thanksgiving kitchen safety to help avoid a fire or other disaster in your home:
- Don’t leave your stovetop unattended while you are cooking.
- Don’t leave the turkey cooking in the oven while you are not home. Stay home and check the turkey frequently.
- Always keep children away from the stove and other cooking equipment to help avoid spills, burns and other accidents.
- Keep kids away from hot foods and liquids that could cause steam or splash burns.
- Clear the floor of obstructions so no one trips or falls.
- Keep knives and other sharp cooking utensils out of the reach of children.
- Cords from small appliances should never be left dangling off a countertop or within reach of a child.
- Matches and utility lighters should be kept up high, out of reach of children.
- Never leave children alone in a room with a lit candle.
- Test your smoke alarm to be sure it is working before the holiday.
The NFPA also strongly discourages the use of outdoor turkey fryers. While increasingly popular, these fryers can cause problems from minor burns to spills and major disasters. The NFPA warns:
- Fryers can easily tip and spill hot cooking oil.
- Excessive oil or a partially frozen turkey will cause the fryer to overflow when the turkey is inserted.
- A small amount of cooking oil coming into contact with the burner can cause a large fire.
- Most fryers don’t have thermostat controls. The oil can continue to heat to the point of combustion.
- The sides of the pot, lid and handles can get extremely hot and create a burn hazard.
Above all, use your discretion and exercise caution whenever you are doing a large amount of cooking and entertaining guests. Even a small accident could ruin your holiday, or worse.