With an average of 430 daily fires, cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries according to NFPA’s Home Fires Involving Cooking Equipment Report & NFIRS data. Thanksgiving is the leading day for home fires involving cooking equipment, with three times the average number!
The kitchen is the heart of the home, especially at Thanksgiving. Kids love to be involved in holiday preparations. Safety in the kitchen is important, especially on Thanksgiving Day when there is a lot of activity and people at home.
Follow These Safety Tips to Avoid a Trip to the Emergency Room:
- Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stovetop so you can keep an eye on the food.
- Stay in the home when cooking your turkey and check on it frequently.
- Keep children away from the stove. The stove will be hot and kids should stay 3 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, pocketbooks or bags.
- 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 — up high in a locked cabinet.
- Never leave children alone in room with a lit a candle.
- Make sure your smoke alarms are working. Test them by pushing the test button.
- Download these NFPA safety tips on Thanksgiving.
- Download NFPA’s “Kids in the Kitchen” guide for ideas on what different age groups can do around the kitchen as you prepare your holiday meal.
- NFPA discourages the use of outdoor gas-fueled turkey fryers.
Keep Your Plumbing Out of Harms Way Too:
- Avoid pouring fat or cooking oil down the drain. Liquid fats easily solidify in the pipes and create clogs. One easy tip is to create a liner made out of aluminum foil and put it in a coffee cup. Drain fat into the aluminum cup and simply throw the aluminum away after the fat congeals.
- Never put stringer or fibrous waste into the garbage disposer (poultry skins, carrots, celery, pumpkin pulp or banana peels). The disposer can’t grind these items well and they will clog your sink drain. Also try to avoid putting starches like potatoes, pasta, rice. These items expand when they come in contact with water and you will quickly have a clog on your hands.
- Run cold water down the drain for about 15 seconds before and after using the garbage disposer to flush waste down the main line.
- Turn on the disposer before adding food debris.
- Run the dishwasher and washing machine at night or at off times to conserve hot water and maintain adequate water pressure for your guests.
- Clean your garbage disposal by grinding up a lemon and 3 tablespoons of baking soda for 1 minute.
Have a Happy and Safe Thanksgiving!