Thanksgiving, a day for gratitude and stuffing our faces alongside our loved ones, also bears the title of the day of the year with the most cooking fires. The National Fire Protection Association notes an alarming spike in home fires on this holiday, outpacing even Christmas. As we prepare for a joyful Turkey Day, CSAA Insurance Group, a AAA insurer, offers essential tips to ensure your holiday feast doesn’t turn fiery.
The Cooktop: A Hotspot for Hazards
Cooking brings family and friends together on Thanksgiving, but it’s also the prime time for fire risks. The cooktop, a central piece in meal preparations, is often where fire ignites. Unattended cooking amplifies this risk significantly.
Essential Tips for Fireproofing Your Thanksgiving Dinner
Never leave cooking unsupervised.
You should always keep an eye on what you’re cooking. Ensure that someone is always in charge of monitoring what’s on the stove. If you must leave, even for a brief moment, turn off all cooking appliances first.
Plan around meal prep.
Avoid multitasking while cooking. Schedule TV breaks, video chats, or activities outside of your kitchen duties to keep distractions at bay.
Keep the kitchen clutter-free.
The kitchen is usually a favorite gathering spot when hosting, but it’s important to avoid overcrowding. Keep kids, pets, and guests out of the kitchen by setting up snacks and entertainment in a separate area of the home.
Grill outdoors only.
Remember, grills are for outdoor use only. They’re not just a fire hazard but also a source of harmful fumes if used indoors.
Cook sober and rested.
If you’re feeling sleepy or have had too many drinks, hand over the cooking duties to someone else.
Watch your kitchen textiles.
Keep oven mitts, towels, and any flammable materials away from the stove and oven.
Tackle grease fires correctly.
In case of a grease fire, smother it with a metal lid or baking soda. Never use water, and always turn the stove off first.
Remember the protocol for oven fires.
If a fire starts in your oven, keep the door closed and turn off the heat. This helps contain the fire and smoke.
Be prepared for emergencies.
Always have a working fire extinguisher within reach. In emergencies, this can literally be a lifesaver.
If a fire does break out, prioritize the safe of you and your guests by immediately calling 911. Remember that a safe Thanksgiving is a happy Thanksgiving.
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