It might be hard to imagine, but with the first Thursday in November also coinciding with the first of the month, Thanksgiving is coming up next week, whether families are prepared or not. And although everyone hopes that their holiday will be a time to make and share memories and good food, there are a number of safety hazards that come along with the celebration. The Chino Valley Fire District is thus offering a few tips to concerned citizens so that this holiday, which the National Fire Protection Agency says leads the calendar year in fires related to home cooking, can be safe for your family.
One of the trends that has caught on in recent years is to fry a turkey rather than cook it in a stove. If you plan to use a deep fryer for your meal, then it’s imperative that you keep it outside. It should not be brought indoors or near anything that might be flammable; that includes overhanging trees, wood fences, wood decks, and more. Some people opt to simply fry up the turkey in the garage, but this does not offer the requisite protection, so avoid this technique at all costs. Finally, make sure kids and animals stay away from the fryer, and keep an eye on it at all times to further ensure safety.
If, however, you are like most families and instead opt to use a standard stove for your cooking, then you need to follow a few tips as well. First, make sure that kids are protected. In the hustle and bustle of the holiday, it can be easy to forget about the little ones. Make sure to have activities and games in a designate area in the house that will keep them occupied while you cook. Emphasize that kids are not to be brought in the kitchen, and even keep out grown adults if they’re not assisting your preparation.
You can also prepare yourself and your kitchen to further promote safety. That means a fire extinguisher should be kept nearby should something go wrong, and any flammable items should far enough away from the stove that they won’t catch fire in the event of a blaze. As for you yourself, make sure your clothing won’t catch flames by avoiding long or loose sleeves while cooking. Also be sure to remove jewelry that’s long enough to catch any pot handles and send boiling water or scalding hot foods across the kitchen.
Finally, cook everything on clean surfaces and to the proper temperature to avoid a foodborne illness, and make sure that you don’t leave food unattended. If you’re moving to another area in the house, then set a timer so you won’t forget that you left something out to cook.