During the holidays, family and friends gather to celebrate. Usually, food is involved. But not all feasts turn out festive. The United States Fire Administration estimates more than 2,000 residential fires are reported each Thanksgiving, with cooking the leading cause.
Remember that the most important ingredient when cooking is safety. Here are some safety tips for your holiday gathering:
• Never leave cooking equipment unattended. Turn off burners if you leave the room or have someone else take over.
• Clean the stovetop and oven of grease and dust.
• Keep the cooking area around the stove and oven clear of combustibles, such as towels, napkins, and potholders.
• Wear short or close-fitting sleeves to avoid catching clothing on fire.
• Use the back burners and turn the pot handles away from reaching hands to protect from spills and burns.
• Locate all appliances away from the sink.
• Plug countertop appliances into Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI)-protected outlets.
• Keep appliance cords away from hot surfaces like the range or toaster.
• Turn off and unplug all appliances when cooking is complete.
Be sure to protect your home and family from fire hazards by installing smoke alarms on every level of the home, in every bedroom, and outside each sleeping area. Don't forget to test the batteries in each smoke alarm every month and replace them once a year. Creating an escape plan for the whole family will ensure that no matter the circumstances, everyone knows how to exit safely.
Keeping all of this in mind will keep your family safe during this holiday season.