If you’re cooking Thanksgiving Dinner, The American Red Cross wants you to know that the number-one day for kitchen fires is…Thanksgiving.
They ask all cooks to follow these simple steps to ensure a fire-free day of thanks.
1. Smoke alarm. Install a smoke alarm near your kitchen, or check the batteries on your current alarm. Use the test button to check, and repeat the check each month. Replace the batteries once a year.
For safety year-round, The Red Cross also recommends smoke alarms on each level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas.
2. Fire extinguisher. Consider purchasing a fire extinguisher to keep in your kitchen. Contact your local fire department to take training on the proper use of extinguishers.
THE NIBBLE uses the easy-to-use aerosol Tundra Fire Suppressant.
3. Clothing. While cooking, don’t wear loose clothing or sleeves that dangle.
4. Don’t leave. 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.
5. Check during cooking. If you’re simmering, baking, roasting or broiling food, check it regularly. Use a timer.
Cooking with safety is the first step (photo courtesy Fairmont Hotel | Chicago).
6. No kids, no pets. Keep kids and pets away from the cooking area. Make them stay at least three feet away from the stove.
7. Move accessories. 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.
8. Clean before and during. Clean cooking surfaces on a regular basis to prevent grease buildup.
9. Night check. Always check the kitchen before going to bed or leaving home, to make sure all stoves, ovens, and small appliances are turned off.
A final safety-related tip:
10. Refrigerate leftovers. No matter how tired you are, don’t leave the turkey and other perishables on the counter or table. If you don’t have the energy to transfer the contents to containers, or to wrap the turkey, just shove everything in the fridge as is. The food will be fine until morning.