By Carter Hall, CSFD Firefighter
Thanksgiving is a day of gratitude, family, friends, and, of course, delicious food. No surprise: All of us with the College Station Fire Department are thankful when everyone practices holiday safety in the kitchen, since Thanksgiving is the leading day for home-cooking fires.
In fact, the United States averages 1,800 cooking fires every Thanksgiving Day. That’s three times the number of fires occurring on any other day of the year, which is why these simple safety tips are so important:
- Never leave unattended food on the stove or in the oven.
- Avoid wearing loose-fitting clothing and long sleeves while cooking because those can easily catch fire.
- Keep children at least three feet away from the cooking area; watch them closely if they insist on being mini-chefs.
- Keep the floor clear so you don’t trip over toys, shoes or other objects.
- Keep flammable items, like potholders and paper or plastic bags, away from the stove and oven.
- Turn pan handles toward the back of the stove to prevent accidental knock-overs.
- Have activities that keep kids out of the kitchen during this busy time. Games, puzzles or books are great options.
- Involve kids in Thanksgiving preparations with recipes that can be followed outside the kitchen.
- Make sure you have a working smoke alarm on each level of the home, including inside and outside bedrooms.
Also, keep safety in mind when using a turkey fryer because a fire can get out of hand in less than a minute.
If fried turkey is your Thanksgiving tradition, only use a fryer outside and safely away from your home – not inside your garage and not on your porch. Don’t overfill the oil in your turkey fryer, and always keep an eye on the bird when it’s cooking in the oil.
From all the dedicated men and women at College Station Fire Department who work to protect lives and property – especially on Thanksgiving Day – we hope your hearts and stomachs are full, and your holiday is safe.
Carter Hall has been a firefighter with the College Station Fire Department since 2011.
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