Thanksgiving is a joyous time, but it doesn’t come without risks. Accidents may occur in the kitchen as you prepare your favorite meals and secret recipes. However, you can reduce your chances of a kitchen fire by practicing fire prevention. From keeping a clean cooking space to checking your smoke alarms, you can keep your loved ones and your home safe from the flames.
Practice Thanksgiving safety by educating yourself on the dos and don’ts of Thanksgiving cooking. Check out these Thanksgiving safety tips from ServiceMaster of Lincoln Park.
Stay in the Kitchen While You Cook
More than three times the daily average of home cooking fires occur on Thanksgiving, making cooking fire prevention essential as people buzz around your kitchen.
Although it seems simple, one of the easiest ways to practice kitchen fire safety is by staying alert any time you cook. Thanksgiving is a busy day, and it can be easy to let pots boil over or forget to remove a dish from the oven. Checking your food often and watching cook times can help reduce the chance that fire sparks.
If you need to run to the grocery store or hurry upstairs to finish getting ready, ensure someone else can hold down the fort while you complete your tasks. Make sure your friends or family know when to stir boiling pots or remove large pans from the oven if you must step out of the kitchen.
Check Your Smoke Alarms Beforehand
Always ensure your smoke alarms work before you begin cooking. You can push the test button and replace old batteries with new ones if your alarm is dead. You should make this a regular part of your house cleaning routine, but it’s imperative to have a working smoke alarm when doing a lot of cooking. This way, if you need to leave the kitchen for a minute, you can feel confident that you’ll know if something goes wrong.
Keep Children Away From the Stove
Many families enjoy including children in the cooking process, but you must do so safely — ovens, stoves and other cookers are most likely to cause appliance fires. It’s safest to keep children out of the kitchen completely, but if you’re cooking together, be attentive. Young children may want to taste test your delicious dishes and could accidentally harm themselves or others.
Children may not realize a burner is still on or understand how hot fresh food can get. When they stick their tongues or hands into your meals, they can scald themselves. Additionally, they may burn their hands, drop the hot dish or splatter liquids around your kitchen when trying to remove a hot pan or pot. In this instance, you would need to dedicate time to remaking your meal or ensure you clean up any mess before a fire starts, and your child could leave the incident with serious injuries or burns.
Ensure Clean Floors and Counters
Careless excitement is common around the holidays as loved ones gather to celebrate life and family. However, small and flammable items can quickly become a hazard in the kitchen. Wallets, toys and bags can become tripping hazards, and oven mitts, dangling cords, matches and wooden utensils can easily catch fire on the counter.
As you cook, take a few seconds to put your supplies back to avoid creating clutter. Any electric knives, coffee makers or lighters should be in a safe location when you’re not using them. Eliminate the chances of other small fires by locking matches away and refraining from lighting candles, especially if children are present.
Arrange Parking Ahead of Time
Car accidents are common, but Thanksgiving sees hundreds of people become injured in car accidents every year. Many drivers are susceptible to car accidents during the holiday season, whether they’re traveling long distances or getting behind the wheel after consuming alcohol. You can reduce home accidents and ensure everyone has a quick and safe exit by letting your friends and family know where to park before arriving.
If possible, try to get everyone to park on the same side of the street to avoid blocking passing cars. If you notice your neighbors are celebrating elsewhere, ask if you can park cars in the driveway instead of piling yours with too many vehicles. You reduce the chance of one car backing into another and help protect your neighbor’s home from break-ins by making it seem like they’re home. Additionally, leaving room on the street gives emergency vehicles a pathway should any be needed to put out kitchen fires.
Know How to Put Out Small Fires
You can protect your home and your loved ones by knowing how to put out small cooking fires. Cooking fires can leave behind an odor that persists for long periods, so knowing how to smother the flames can save you from fire and smoke damage.
If a dish catches fire, you must first smother the flames. Slide a lid over the pot or pan so it cannot feed on oxygen. Leave the dish completely covered until it cools. If possible, safely take the dish outside and sit in an area free of flammable objects. Have someone monitor the pot or pan to be safe.
With an oven fire, you must turn off the heat and leave the door closed. Opening the door is one of the worst steps to take in this situation. If the flames spread outside your oven, use a fire extinguisher to reduce them. You can also try baking soda if there are small flames on your counter or surrounding areas.
If your dishes are bubbling grease over the side of the container, you could see a fire erupt. If it hasn’t started yet, you should quickly remove the container and figure out a way to avoid this problem. You should never use water to minimize a grease fire. When water enters a burning pan, it sinks to the bottom and repels the oil, causing it spread rather than extinguish.
Always remember it is safer to get out of the house than to try to fight a fire when you don’t know how. If you have any reservations about putting a fire out, urge everyone to leave the building and call your local emergency number.
Contact ServiceMaster of Lincoln Park
ServiceMaster of Lincoln Park offers water and fire damage restoration services to Chicago residents. When disaster strikes, you can feel confident that we’ll be there to assist you. We are always available 24/7, so you never have to wait for help.
We want you and your loved ones to have a safe and joyous holiday, but we know accidents happen. With a professionally trained staff and satisfaction guarantee, we promise to get you back to normal as quickly as possible.
If you need help cleaning up after a Thanksgiving cooking fire, you can easily request fire damage cleanup from ServiceMaster of Lincoln Park. We help get people clean and stay that way, and we’ll do it right or do it over.