Millions of people will gather for Thanksgiving to enjoy time with loved ones and a delicious holiday dinner. With cooking being the number one cause of home fires, the American Red Cross wants you to stay safe while preparing your holiday meal by following these fire safety steps:
1. Don’t wear loose clothing or sleeves that dangle while cooking.
2. If you are frying, grilling or broiling food, never leave it unattended – stay in the kitchen. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
3. If you’re simmering, baking, roasting or broiling food, check it regularly.
4. Use a timer to remind yourself that the stove or oven is on.
5. Keep kids and pets away from the cooking area. Make them stay at least three feet away from the stove.
6. Keep anything that can catch fire - pot holders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, towels or curtains - away from your stove, oven or any other appliance in the kitchen that generates heat.
7. Clean cooking surfaces on a regular basis to prevent grease buildup.
8. Consider purchasing a fire extinguisher to keep in your kitchen. Contact your local fire department to take training on the proper use of extinguishers.
9. Always check the kitchen before going to bed or leaving the home to make sure all stoves, ovens, and small appliances are turned off.
10. Install a smoke alarm near your kitchen, on each level of your home, near sleeping areas, and inside and outside bedrooms if you sleep with doors closed. Use the test button to check it each month. Replace all batteries at least once a year if your battery requires it.
Download the Red Cross First Aid App for quick, expert advice on what to do in case of an emergency. See all the Red Cross apps at redcross.org/mobileapps.