If you are like my family members, you can already taste the pumpkin pie and cranberry sauce. But with children and pets (and let’s face it – some grown-ups, too) running around and through the kitchen, paying close attention while preparing the feast is vital to having a safe holiday.
“Cooking is the number one cause of home fires,” said Mike Parks, Regional CEO. “Last year over 40 individuals – more than a dozen of them children – experienced a home fire over the holiday weekend. Education is key in preventing cooking fires.”
TOP TEN COOKING SAFETY TIPS
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 just 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, and 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. We can help! Learn more about our free smoke alarm and education program, Operation Save-A-Life, at www.redcross.org/neoosal!
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.