Cook safely this Thanksgiving

Staff report

There are more than three times as many home cooking fires on Thanksgiving as a typical day of the year, making it by far the leading day for U.S. home cooking fires, with a nearly 250 percent increase over the daily average, according to the National Fire Protection Association.

Unattended cooking is the leading cause of home cooking fires and fire deaths; 15 percent of the fatalities are attributed to clothing ignitions.

What follows are tips and recommendations for cooking safely this Thanksgiving:

• Never leave food cooking on the stovetop unattended, especially when frying and sautéing with oil. Stay in your home while the turkey is cooking and check on it frequently.

• Use a timer to keep track of cooking times, most notably when simmering, baking or roasting foods that require longer cook times. Check the stove or oven frequently.

• Consider putting timers in different rooms so you can hear them over music and party chatter.

• Keep items that can catch fire – such as oven mitts, wooden utensils, food wrappers, and towels – a minimum of three feet away from the cooking area.

• Push up shirt sleeves and avoid wearing billowy clothing that may come in contact with open flames or other heat sources.

• Avoid cooking when drinking alcohol, using other substances or if you’re sleepy.

• Keep children at least three feet away from all cooking areas, hot food, and liquids to avoid burns.

• The use of turkey fryers can lead to devastating burns, other injuries, and property damage. Instead, choose deep-fried turkeys sold at food retailers as a safe alternative.

Staff report