With Thanksgiving less than a week away, Chief Mark Klose and the Rochester Fire Department would like to remind residents of several important cooking safety tips.
The National Fire Protection Association reports that Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires followed by Christmas Day, Christmas Eve and the day before Thanksgiving.
The NFPA found that unattended cooking was the leading contributing factor in cooking fires and fire deaths. Cooking equipment was involved in almost half of all reported home fires and home fire injuries, and it is the second leading cause of home fire deaths.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, fire departments in the United States are dispatched to approximately 166,100 fires annually involving cooking equipment, such as a stove or microwave.
“I believe it’s safe to say that Thanksgiving dinner is something we all look forward to,” said Chief Klose. “To ensure that you and your family can enjoy the food you’ve prepared for the holiday, we recommend residents to review these cooking safety tips. As always, the Rochester Fire Department wishes you and your family a safe and happy Thanksgiving.”
Rochester Fire urges residents to exercise caution if they choose to deep fry their turkeys for Thanksgiving or any other time. Turkeys should always be thoroughly thawed — never frozen — before being placed into a deep fryer. In addition, turkeys should be fried outdoors and away from homes, decks, sheds or other potentially flammable structures.
To avoid tragedy this season, the Rochester Fire Department recommends residents follow several safety tips outlined by the NFPA:
- 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 on it frequently.
- Keep children away from the stove. The stove will be hot and kids should stay three feet away.
- Make sure kids stay away from hot food and liquids. The steam or splash from vegetables, gravy or coffee could cause serious burns.
- Keep knives out of the reach of children.
- Be sure electric cords from an electric knife, coffee maker, plate warmer or mixer are not dangling off the counter within easy reach of a child.
- Keep matches and utility lighters out of the reach of children — up high in a locked cabinet.
- Never leave children alone in room with a lit candle.
- Keep the floor clear so you don’t trip over kids, toys, pocketbooks or bags.
- Make sure your smoke alarms are working. Test them by pushing the test button.
Additionally, the NFPA discourages the use of turkey fryers, as the amount and high temperature of the oil used can cause serious burns and injuries, and result in the destruction of property.