Thanksgiving is a time to celebrate with family, enjoy delicious food, and express gratitude for our blessings. But here’s the catch… this time of year is also full of potential hazards, especially when it comes to cooking and fire safety.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), Thanksgiving is the peak day for home-cooking fires in the U.S., followed by Christmas Day and Christmas Eve. So, to prevent any holiday emergencies, here are some safety tips to keep in mind:
Tip #1: Stay Safe in the Kitchen
Unattended cooking is the leading cause of home fires. If you must leave the kitchen, even briefly, turn off the stove or ask someone else to watch it for you. Also, keep children and pets at least three feet from the cooking area. Check on food regularly if you are simmering, basting, or roasting it, and use a timer to remind you when it’s done.
You should also keep flammable items away from the stove while cooking. Don’t wear long, dangling sleeves or loose clothing while you’re hard at work. Move anything that can catch fire away from the stovetop, such as oven mitts, wooden utensils, food wrappers, and towels.
Tip #2: Be Careful with Candles (or Decor)
Candles create a cozy and festive atmosphere but can also cause fires if not used properly. Keep candles at least 12 inches away from curtains, decorations, or anything that can burn. Use candle holders that are sturdy and won’t tip over easily. Blow out candles before you leave a room or go to bed. Better yet, use flameless candles that are battery-operated or electric.
Tip #3: Stay Prepared with Fire Equipment
Install and maintain smoke alarms on every level of your home and change the batteries annually. Consider installing fire sprinklers in your home for added protection and peace of mind. Install a UL-rated fire extinguisher near the kitchen and know how to operate it should you need to use it.
Tip #4: Have an Emergency Action Plan
You’ll need to act fast to contain a small kitchen fire. For a grease fire on the stovetop, cover it with a lid or a baking sheet. You can also use baking soda or salt to smother the fire but never use flour or other powders that can explode. If the fire is too large or out of control, get out of the house and call 911.
For microwave or oven fires, keep the door closed. Turn off and unplug the appliance, if possible. If your clothes catch fire, do not panic or run. Running can make the fire spread faster and cause more damage. Instead, stop, drop to the ground, and roll until the fire is out.
Creating an Escape Plan
Ensure everyone in your household knows how to get out of every room and exit the house in case of a fire. Have at least two ways out of each room and ensure they are clear of clutter and easy to open. Practice your escape plan with your family at least twice a year and designate a meeting place outside where everyone can gather after escaping.
Have a Happy (and Safe) Holiday Season
Remember, prevention is critical for avoiding fires and injuries. At the end of the day, a little bit goes a long way in keeping you and your family safe. At A&A Fire Protection Services Inc., we are committed to providing quality fire protection services for residential and commercial properties in Illinois. We offer installation, inspection, testing, maintenance, and repair of fire sprinkler systems and backflow prevention devices. Contact us today to learn how we can help you with your home or business.