Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires, with three times as many as during an average day, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Snohomish County Fire District 1 offers the following safety tips to help avoid a Thanksgiving fire:
• Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stove top so you can keep an eye on the food.
• Stay in the home when cooking your turkey and check it frequently.
• Keep children away from the hot stove. Safety experts recommend establishing a 3-foot wide “kid-free zone” around the stove. Involve children in activities and Thanksgiving recipe preparations that can be done outside the kitchen.
• Keep matches and utility lighters out of reach of children — up high in a locked cabinet.
• Turkey fryers pose many dangers. Hot oil can splash or spill, resulting in serious burns or injuries. Fryers on stands can tip or collapse, causing hot oil to spill. When oil is heated above its cooking temperature, its vapors can ignite. The safety risks are so great that the National Fire Protection Association discourages use of outdoor, gas-fueled, hot-oil fryers. If you prefer fried turkey, consider purchasing pre-cooked fried turkey from a restaurant, specialty food retailer or grocery, or consider using a new type of “oil-less” turkey fryer.
• Make sure your home is equipped with working smoke alarms.
If you have the unfortunate incident of a kitchen fire on Thanksgiving Day (or any day), call 911 immediately.