WASHINGTON — Thanksgiving is meant to be a day filled with gratitude.
However, there's not a lot to be thankful for if a home goes up in flames because of a turkey. So, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission highlighted the importance of safety in the kitchen.
The organization said there's an average of 1,800 cooking fires on Thanksgiving Day each year. That's three times the number on any other day of the year.
Here's a list of tips to follow this Thanksgiving:
- Never leave food on the stove or in the oven unattended.
- Avoid wearing loose-fitting clothing and long sleeves that can easily catch fire while cooking.
- Keep children away from the cooking area; watch them closely if they insist on being mini chefs.
- Keep flammable items like potholders and paper or plastic bags away from the stove and oven.
- Turn pan handles toward the back of the stove to prevent accidental knock overs.
- Make sure you have a working smoke alarm on each level of the home, and inside and outside bedrooms.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission also recommends Americans use extreme caution when using a turkey fryer. Only use the fryer outside and away from the home. Away from the home means not inside a garage or on a porch.
The U.S. Fire Administration created a list of potential dangers of deep-frying a turkey.
- Turkey fryers can easily tip over spilling hot oil across a large area. Make sure to have a “3-foot kid- and pet-free zone” around your turkey fryer to protect against burn injuries.
- An overfilled cooking pot will cause oil to spill over when the turkey is placed inside. Determine the correct amount of oil needed by first placing the turkey in the pot with water.
- A partially frozen turkey will cause hot oil to splatter. Make sure your turkey is completely thawed before you fry it.
- Turkey fryers can easily overheat and start a fire. Check the temperature often with a cooking thermometer so the oil won’t overheat.
- The pot, lid, and handles of a turkey fryer can get dangerously hot and cause burn injuries. Use long cooking gloves that protect hands and arms when you handle these items.