For many adept chefs, their primary worries at Thanksgiving are whether the turkey comes out dry and the pie crust is flaky enough. Others like me are not allowed to touch any of the food for fear that it will be immediately ruined. And, those in the P & C insurance industry are probably all too aware that Thanksgiving is the number one day out of the entire year for cooking fires.
Cooking fires are the leading cause of U.S. home fires and fire injuries. On Thanksgiving 2008, U.S. fire departments responded to 1,300 home cooking fires, according to the National Fire Protection Association. On an average day, they respond to about 420. The NFPA reports that unattended cooking was the leading contributing factor to cooking fires.
So, in response to this outbreak of destructive holiday home fires, the American Red Cross took it upon themselves to educate you about cooking safety. Here are some tips they give to ensure a Thanksgiving free of fires (and your food will probably be the better for it, too).
- Stay in the kitchen when you fry, grill or broil food.
- Check simmering, baking or roasting food regularly and stay in the home while you are cooking it.
- Stay alert. Avoid sleep-inducing medications and alcohol.
- Remove anything that can catch fire from around the stove top.
- Wear clothing that will stay out of the way of flame.
- Keep kids out of the kitchen, or at least three feet from the stove and oven.
- Keep pets away from the stove and oven.
After you’ve read these tips, go to the Red Cross’s “Got Turkey? Test Your Cooking Safety Know-How
” quiz and see how you score.