Thanksgiving continues to be a peak day for cooking fires. In 2015, fire departments across the country responded to 1,760 house fires on Thanksgiving, which was nearly four times the daily average.
Tips to Avoid a Cooking Fire This Thanksgiving
Tip #1: Stay FocusedYou can become distracted while cooking if you are trying to accommodate a houseful of family and friends. It is no surprise that the biggest contributor to cooking fires is unattended cooking. Between 2011 and 2015, 33 percent of all home cooking fires were attributed to unattended cooking. It is so important to stay focused. Do not leave the stove or oven unattended. If cooking oils or food grease becomes too hot, they could start a fire. If you need to leave the room, turn off the appliances or assign another adult to take your place until you return.Tip #2: Don’t Drink and CookAlcohol can impair judgment, vision, reaction time and hand-eye coordination. You need focus when cooking. You want to avoid spilling alcohol or flammable ingredients onto a very hot surface. You could easily spill hot grease and cause bad burns. In addition, if you are intoxicated, you could easily forget about the food you’re cooking or to turn off appliances.Tip #3: Avoid Loose and Flowy ClothingThough loose clothing accounts for approximately one-percent of cooking fires, the consequences can be deadly. When clothing ignites, there is a much greater chance of death. Play it safe and leave your bell bottom sleeves in the closet. In addition to clothing, you should tie long hair away from your face and away from cooking surfaces.Tip #4: Keep Your Work Space TidyWhen multitasking in the kitchen, it can get messy. However, keeping your cooking space organized and clean could help you avoid a fire. Kitchen towels, oven mitts, pot holders, food packaging, wooden utensils, paper bags: they could all catch fire if they are too close to the stove. In addition, the majority of cooking fires begin from the ignition of food or cooking materials. Before cooking, make sure the stove top has been wiped clean of residue and grease. While cooking, keep flammable food ingredients, oils and alcohols away from the stove.Tip #5: Keep Children AwayWith so much activity, children could want to help and get in on the action. Do not let them near hot surfaces like the stovetop or oven. Instead, in a different room or away from the stove, have them set the table, put ice in glasses or construct cold foods.Though a cooking fire may be a horrible accident, they can cause catastrophic or fatal injuries. If you invite guests over for Thanksgiving, then under California premises liability laws you are obligated to do your best to keep them safe.