Editor's note: The following is a press release issued by the Plainfield Fire Protection District.
More home cooking fires occur on Thanksgiving Day than on any other day of the year, according to statics from the National Fire Protection Association. With that in mind, the Plainfield Fire Protection District would like to offer some kitchen fire safety tips to help prevent a cooking fire from ruining your holiday celebration.
- For cooking that involves roasting, baking, simmering and boiling of food someone should always be home. Don’t leave your home while food is cooking.
- Whenever you are broiling, grilling or frying food someone should stay in the kitchen. Turn the stove off if you have to leave this type of cooking unattended.
- If a pot on the stove catches on fire, put a lid on it and turn the burner off, this should smother the fire. Leave the pan covered until it cools off.
- If food in the oven or microwave catches on fire keep the door closed and turn the appliance off if it is safe to do so. If you choose to fight the fire, make sure that others are evacuating and calling 9-1-1 for assistance.
- Keep electrical cords for small appliances such as coffee makers, mixers, hot plates and electric knives from dangling off of the counter so they do not get pulled knocking the appliance to the floor.
- Keep pot handles turned inward to avoid hitting them and knocking the pot to the floor.
- Keep items that can burn such as towels, pot holders and wooden utensils away from the stovetop.
- Don’t wear loose or flowing clothing if you’ll be cooking to avoid your clothes from catching on fire. Remember if your clothes do catch on fire you should stop, drop and roll, this will smother the fire.
If you plan to fry your Thanksgiving turkey in a turkey fryer there are some specific turkey fryer safety precautions to keep in mind:
- Only use the fryer outdoors on a concrete or asphalt surface at least 10 feet away from buildings, fences and other structures. Never use the fryer in or under a garage, barn, eaves, carport, porch or any structure that can catch fire.
- Be very careful not to overfill the fryer with oil, doing so will cause the fryer to overflow when the turkey is added and catch on fire.
- The fryer should be on a level surface.
- Locate the propane tank so that wind blows the fryer smoke and heat away from the propane tank, not towards it.
- Be sure the pot is centered over the burner on the cooker.
- Monitor the temperature of the oil; if it begins to smoke turn the burner off immediately to avoid the overheated oil from catching on fire.
- Make sure your turkey is completely thawed before putting it into the fryer. Partially frozen meat will cause the hot oil to splatter. Keep in mind that rain and snow will also cause the hot oil to splatter.
- The fryer will be very hot and can be easily knocked over so don’t allow children or pets to be near it.
- Never leave the turkey fryer unattended.
- Ensure your skin is properly protected with oven mitts prior to adding or removing food.
- Never use water on a grease fire. For a turkey fryer fire you will need a BC-rated fire extinguisher. If a fire occurs immediately call 9-1-1.
For a video and more tips on turkey fryer safety please visit this UL webpage: http://www.ul.com/global/eng/pages/offerings/perspectives/consumer/productsafety/turkeys/. For more kitchen fire safety tips and a kitchen fire safety video visit the National Fire Protection Association’s website at: http://www.nfpa.org/newsReleaseDetails.asp?categoryid=488&itemId=54038 or you can also call us at 815-436-5335.
The Plainfield Fire Protection District wishes everyone a safe and happy Thanksgiving holiday.