According to the National Fire Protection Association, more house fires occur on Thanksgiving Day than any other day of the year. Since Wayne Overhead Door also specializes in rebuilding homes after unfortunate and devastating house fires, we thought now would be a good time to talk about cooking safety on Turkey Day. While you're still planning your holiday, please consider the following information so you can have a happy, uneventful Thanksgiving.
Common Causes of Thanksgiving Fires and How to Avoid Them.
Children. The younger the child, the more dangers he or she can create. Unless you plan to carefully monitor a young kitchen helper, it's best to shoo the kids out of the kitchen and remind them that the kitchen is off limits while cooking is in progress.
Setting oven mitts, towels and boxes on hot burners. As your delicacies approach completion, things get hectic around the stove, and it's easy to forget you have hot burners. It takes very little time for combustible materials, including loose clothing, to ignite, so just be aware and keep everything off the stove except for pots and pans.
Cooking while inebriated. Cracking open the wine too early could lead to oblivious inattention around the stove. It may seem a fun indulgence until the blaring smoke alarms ruin your buzz...
Leaving the house with the stove on. This is only common sense. You wouldn't leave on vacation with the coffee pot on, so don't leave the house with all manner of things in and on your stove.
Trying to deep fry a turkey. You were just waiting for this one, right? We've all heard about the genius dropping a frozen turkey into a deep fryer, then running like crazy before it goes kablooie. If you absolutely must fry a turkey (what's wrong with the easy-going oven roasting method? we'd like to know), then do these things:
- Make sure it has completely thawed.
- Completely dry it, inside and out.
- Don't overfill the fryer so oil slops over the side.
- Do it in the middle of nowhere — not in your garage, kitchen, patio, on your deck, balcony, near the house or any building, in your rented storage unit, near children or other people, near pets, or near anything else.
How to Squelch a Kitchen Fire
Even if you follow all of these safety precautions, accidents can and do happen. If a fire does break out, here's what you'll need to do:
- If the fire is in the oven, turn it off and keep the door closed.
- Cover a grease fire in a pot or pan by sliding a lid over it and turning off the burner. Don't try to move it and never try to use water to put it out — this will instantly spread the fire.
- If it's a thin film of oil that's caught fire, grab some baking soda and spread it over the fire. You should keep a large, full box on hand at all times just for this purpose.
- Keep a fire extinguisher somewhere in plain site but away from the stove. Don't store it under the sink as that's probably too close to where a fire would be. When using the fire extinguisher, spray low and slow.
Please be smart this Thanksgiving and avoid becoming a statistic. As you prepare your home for the holidays, you might find that you need new need garage doors, windows, roofing, gutters and siding. If so, please contact us today for a free quote!