The holiday season is once again upon us. It is a time for families and friends to gather for meals and to share. Don’t let this time of the year become tragic due to a cooking fire.
Did you know that Thanksgiving is a peak day for cooking fires in the home, followed by Christmas? According to the nonprofit National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), cooking is the leading cause of home fires in the United States.
The Bismarck Fire Department advises that by following a few basic safety tips during this holiday season, you can reduce your risk of being burned or having a fire.
• Be alert! Never leave cooking food on the stovetop unattended, and keep a close eye on food cooking inside the oven or microwave.
• Keep cooking areas clean and clear of combustibles.
• Keep children and pets away from cooking areas by enforcing a “kid-free zone” of three feet around the stove.
• Always keep a potholder, oven mitt and lid handy. If a small fire starts in a pan on the stove, put on an oven mitt and smother the flames by carefully sliding the lid over the pan. Turn off the burner. Don’t remove the lid until it is completely cool. Never pour water on a grease fire and never discharge a fire extinguisher onto a pan fire, as it can spray or shoot burning grease around the kitchen.
• For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed to prevent flames from burning you and your clothing.
• If there is a microwave fire, keep the door closed and unplug the microwave. Call the fire department and make sure to have the oven serviced before you use it again.
If you are using a turkey fryer remember these important tips:
• Consider using an “oil-less” turkey fryer.
• Use a turkey fryer that is thermostatically controlled, if possible.
• Always place your turkey fryer outside on a flat, solid surface and away from any buildings and overhangs. Do not place the fryer on a wood deck or balcony.
• Before placing oil in the container, put your turkey in and fill the container with water until the turkey is covered. Remove the turkey and mark the level of the water in the container. Empty and dry the container before adding oil to the mark you just made. This will ensure that you do not overfill the container with oil.
• Make sure your turkey is thawed and dry before placing it in the hot oil. Use extreme caution when lowering and removing the turkey from the oil.
• Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and recommendations when using your fryer.
For more fire safety information please visit our website at www.bismarcknd.gov/fire or NFPA at www.nfpa.org.