Thanksgiving is a festive but hectic holiday, where people often prepare several dishes at once. Entertaining friends and family with lots of other potential distractions are all factors that can contribute to the increased likelihood of home cooking fires and underscore the importance of being extra vigilant in the kitchen.
According to the NFPA, Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires, with more than three times the daily average for incidents. Unattended cooking was by far the leading contributing factor to these fires.
The Bullhead City Fire Department would like to offer the following tips and recommendations for cooking safety this Thanksgiving.
* Make your cooking area safe. Move things that can burn away from the stove. Turn pot handles toward the back so that they can’t be bumped.
* Watch what you’re cooking. Use a timer when roasting a turkey or baking pies.
* Stay awake and alert while you are cooking. Turn the burner off if you see smoke or the grease starts to boil in your pan.
* Be prepared. Keep a large pan lid or baking sheet handy in case you need to smother a pan fire.
* Prevent burns. Wear short sleeves when you cook or roll them up. Don’t lean over the burner. Use potholders and oven mitts to handle hot cookware.
* Keep a 3-foot safety zone around the stove, keeping children away
* Make sure you have working smoke alarms
Turkey Frying Safety
Deep-frying turkeys have become popular in recent years. This cooking method has a lot of risks. Turkey fryers get hot all over, so they need to be handled with great care and only by an adult. They can tip over, spilling hot cooking oil. Partially frozen turkeys placed into hot fryers will cause the oil to splatter. If fryers are overfilled, the hot oil can spill over the side when the turkey is added. Even a small amount of oil on a hot burner can start a fire. If you deep-fry a turkey, place the fryer outside on a flat surface that can’t burn, such as cement. Place the fryer several feet from anything that can catch fire. Don’t let children or pets come anywhere near it. An adult should watch the fryer while it cooks and use a fryer with thermostat controls. Without these controls, the oil can heat to the point of catching fire. Thaw the turkey completely before cooking it so ice crystals won’t splatter the hot oil. Use potholders and oven mitts when handling the turkey.