Thanksgiving is almost here – a time when many people will prepare a holiday feast with their loved ones. The American Red Cross has steps people can follow to stay safe when cooking this holiday weekend.
“Cooking is the number one cause of home fires,” said Louise Welch Williams, CEO for Palmetto SC Region of the Red Cross. “We want you enjoy a tasty meal with your friends and family and by taking a few easy precautions, you can avoid having your Thanksgiving go up in flames.”
TOP TEN COOKING SAFETY TIPS
- Don’t wear loose clothing or sleeves that dangle while cooking.
- If you are frying, grilling or broiling food, never leave it unattended – stay in the kitchen. If you just leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
- If you’re simmering, baking, roasting or broiling food, check it regularly.
- Use a timer to remind yourself that the stove or oven is on.
- Keep kids and pets away from the cooking area. Make them stay at least three feet away from the stove.
- Keep anything that can catch fire - pot holders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, and towels or curtains—away from your stove, oven or any other appliance in the kitchen that generates heat.
- Clean cooking surfaces on a regular basis to prevent grease buildup.
- Consider purchasing a fire extinguisher to keep in your kitchen. Contact your local fire department to take training on the proper use of extinguishers.
- Always check the kitchen before going to bed or leaving the home to make sure all stoves, ovens, and small appliances are turned off.
- 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.
Bonus Tip - Download the American Red Cross First Aid App. The app provides users with quick, expert advice on what to do in case of an emergency. See all the Red Cross apps at redcross.org/mobileapps.
Home fires occur more often than most people realize; in South Carolina, the Red Cross responds to requests from local fire departments every 4 hours to come to the aid of families affected by home fires. Families can keep themselves and their loved ones safe by checking their existing smoke alarms and practicing fire drills at home. For more information about home fire preparedness visit www.redcross.org/SC.