Safety share: Cooking fire rate increases on major holidays
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, the number of cooking fires increases on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve day and Christmas Day. Unattended cooking equipment is the leading factor in the start of cooking fires. Many other cooking fires begin because items that can burn are too close to cooking heat sources.
To stay safe this holiday season, follow these 10 tips from the American Red Cross:
- Never leave cooking food unattended — stay in the kitchen when frying, grilling or broiling food. If you have to leave the kitchen, even for a second, turn off the stove.
- Check your food regularly while cooking and remain in the home while cooking.
- Use a timer so you’ll remember that the stove or oven is on.
- Don’t wear loose clothing or dangling sleeves while cooking.
- Keep the kids away from the cooking area. Enforce a “kid-free zone” and make them stay at least three feet away from the stove.
- Keep anything that can catch fire — pot holders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, and towels or curtains — away from your stove, oven or any other appliance in the kitchen that generates heat.
- Clean cooking surfaces on a regular basis to prevent grease buildup.
- Consider purchasing a fire extinguisher to keep in your kitchen. Contact your local fire department to take training on the proper use of extinguishers.
- Always check the kitchen before going to bed or leaving the home to make sure all stoves, ovens and small appliances are turned off.
- Install a smoke alarm near your kitchen, on each level of your home, near sleeping areas and inside and outside bedrooms if you sleep with doors closed. Use the test button to check it each month. Replace all batteries at least once a year.
This safety share, courtesy of the Fermilab Fire Department, provides additional tips on what to do if someone is scalded in the kitchen. Please print this information and use it to help kick off a team discussion at your next meeting with colleagues and/or staff.
Each month a safety share submitted by an individual will be selected to receive a Spot Award for demonstrated safety leadership. The Spot Award program offers three award levels: gold ($100), silver ($50) and bronze ($25).