Burned Turkey is bad. Cooking injuries or a fire breaking out in your home would be worse.
The National Fire Protection Agency reports that Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires, followed by Christmas Day and Christmas Eve. More than 1,700 home cooking fires were reported on Thanksgiving in 2015 (latest figure available).
The leading cause of these fires? Unattended cooking, which means don’t leave the food cooking on the stove while you watch the parade, football game or attend to guests in another room.
According to the NFPA’s Fire Analysis & Research Division, cooking equipment was blamed for 48% of all reported home fires, and ties with home heating equipment as the second leading cause of home fire deaths.
So what can you do to keep your family — and your holiday dinner — safe this season?
NJFSAB and the NFPA offer the following safety tips:
- Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stove so you can keep an eye on the food.
- Stay in the home when cooking your turkey and check on it frequently.
- Remove oven mitts, dishtowels, paper goods and other items that can easily catch fire away from open flames and hot surfaces.
- Keep children at least 3 feet away from the stove.
- Keep children 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.
One more tip — If you want deep-fried turkey, don’t try to do it yourself. NFPA advises that you purchase one from a local restaurant or store. Turkey fryers can lead to devastating burns and other injuries, and the destruction of property due to the large amount and high temperature of oil used.
For more information and educational materials about preventing home fires visit the NFPA website.