Another Thanksgiving holiday is here, but before you open that nice bottle of wine, let’s talk some safety. It’s certainly not the most exciting topic, but it’s one you’ll want to give some thought to this season. Kitchen and house fires skyrocket the day of Thanksgiving all over the country, and if you want to avoid an expensive claim, you should be practicing kitchen safety this Thanksgiving. In fact, the National Fire Protection Association notes that Thanksgiving is the peak day for cooking fires. This goes for cooking both indoors and outside. This time of the year always presents a stern reminder that cooking with a turkey fryer can be a dangerous venture. So let’s keep our friends and family safe around the dinner table and out of the emergency room with these safety tips for the season.
Too Many Cooks In The Kitchen
Our first tip for kitchen safety this Thanksgiving revolves around getting too caught up in the spirit. It’s easy for friends and family to congregate in the kitchen and distract from the cooking process. Usually this just adds to the fun of cooking, but only if you don’t get to distracted. It’s easy to leave the stovetop or oven unattended and cause an unexpected fire. Dishes that require oil for cooking can burn and even ignite into flames if left on high heat too long. Pots can also boil over or lose too much moisture and can ruin more than just your dinner.
It’s not just the items on the stovetop that are dangerous. Anything left around the stovetop can become a fire hazard as well. This includes paper towels, paper bags, cloth towels, wooden utensils, loose packaging and more. Finally, your clothing can become a fire hazard if you’re not careful. Anyone planning to cook around the stove this season shouldn’t wear any loose clothing. It’s not uncommon for sleeves to go up in flames when an accident occurs.
…Or Too Few Cooks
While we examine kitchen safety this Thanksgiving, we have to mention what happens when someone tries to do too much. Many cooks think they can handle the whole meal preparation by themselves. But if you’re cooking a big feast, it’s wise to ask for a little help. This ensures you can focus on only a few dishes and prevent any accidents. Trust us, there are plenty of people in the house that would be happy to lend a hand. Just make sure no one is intoxicated and cooking at the same time. One last note, be careful with children in the kitchen. It’s best that they play elsewhere so no accidents occur around the stove or hot dishes.
On To Turkey Fryers
If you haven’t heard about the slew of turkey fryer fires that occur each Thanksgiving by now, you must be living under a rock! That’s right, turkey fryers are dangerous. So our next item for kitchen safety this Thanksgiving has to do with outdoor cooking. The best way to share turkey fryer safety tips is to list them out.
- Read the turkey fryer instructions, and read them every year. You’re literally playing with fire!
- Turkey fryers can only be used outdoors.
- Keep the fryer away from any structure. This includes any walls, fences, trees or other flammable items.
- Move the propane tank as far away from the fryer as possible. Beware of any tripping hazards around the fryer.
- If your turkey fryer is old, consider purchasing a new one with a locking lid.
- Always thaw the turkey completely before inserting it in the fryer. Excess moisture or a frozen turkey can cause a fire when it hits the hot grease.
- Do not use the fryer in falling rain or snow.
- Never use a fryer when intoxicated.
- Don’t force using the fryer if you’re worried about an accident. Brining a turkey can create a juicy bird in the oven as well.
Check Those Smoke Detectors
The days leading up to Thanksgiving are a perfect time to check your smoke detectors. If a battery has died in one of your detectors, you could miss out on an important warning to stop a fire before it gets out of control. Pick some extra batteries with your pre-Thanksgiving shopping and check out all the detectors in your house. Test all of them before any of your company arrives. One more tip regarding smoke detectors. Dust all their sensors off regularly. This ensures they are working at an optimum level, and it prevents any false readings.
Kitchen Safety This Thanksgiving – Final Thoughts
Your Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be dangerous if you take your time while cooking and avoid any big distractions. Enlist the help of your friends and family and practice common kitchen safety tips. Of course don’t forget to check all your smoke detectors before your guests arrive. Finally, if you’re using a turkey fryer this season, please exercise great caution. They are perfectly safe when used properly, but far too many accidents occur with them each year. If you need to check out your homeowners insurance coverage to make sure you’re well protected for the holiday, contact us for a free quote. We at Square State Insurance wish you a happy and safe Thanksgiving holiday!