Thanksgiving can be a whirlwind of cooking and entertaining guests, according to the National Fire Protection Association. With so much multitasking taking place, fire hazards around the oven or stovetop can be easily overlooked. Cooks should be conscious of fire safety this Thanksgiving whether the menu is meant to serve 2 or 20.
To reduce the risk of cooking fires this holiday, NFPA recommends:
Keep anything that can catch fire such as oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains away from the stovetop.
Always stay in the kitchen while frying, grilling or broiling food. If you have to leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
When simmering, baking, roasting or boiling food, check it regularly, remain in the home while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.
Stay alert. If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol, don't use the stove or stovetop.
Carefully decorating Christmas trees can help make your holidays safer.
When decorating, always use safe tree lights. (Some lights are designed only for indoor or outdoor use, but not both.) Larger tree lights should also have some type of reflector rather than a bare bulb and all lights should be listed by a testing laboratory. Never use electric lights on a metal tree.
Always unplug Christmas tree lights before leaving home or going to bed.
Never use lit candles to decorate a tree, and place them well away from tree branches.
Try to keep live trees as moist as possible by giving them plenty of water daily. Do not purchase a tree that is dry or dropping needles.
When purchasing an artificial tree, be sure it is labeled as fire retardant.
Make sure the tree is at least 3 feet away from any heat source, such as fireplaces and radiators. Try to position the tree near an outlet so that cords are not running long distances.