The American Red Cross offers tips to help everyone stay safe during the Thanksgiving holiday, a peak time for cooking fires and congested travel. Thanksgiving is the top day for home cooking fires in the United States, where unattended cooking is the most common cause of kitchen fires.
Follow the tips below, test smoke alarms and practice escape plans until everyone can get out in two minutes or less. Visit redcross.org/homefires for free resources.
– Keep an eye on what you fry. Stay in the kitchen and never leave cooking food unattended.
– Clean and clear the area around the stove before turning on the heat.
– Move items that can burn away from the stove. These include towels, bags, boxes, paper and curtains.
– Avoid wearing loose clothing or dangling sleeves while cooking.
– Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the stove.
– Turn pot handles to the back of the stove, so no one bumps them or pulls them over.
– Fires can start when the heat is too high. When frying food, turn the burner off if you see smoke or if the grease starts to boil. Carefully remove the pan from the burner.
– Keep a pan lid or a cookie sheet nearby. Use it to cover the pan if it catches on fire. This will put out the fire. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.
– Use a timer to remind yourself that the stove or oven is on.
– Check the kitchen before going to bed or leaving home to ensure all stoves, ovens and small appliances are turned off.
Submitted by the American Red Cross Northern Miami Valley Ohio Chapter, serving Champaign, Clark, Darke, Logan, Miami & Shelby counties.