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Op-Ed: Thanksgiving Dinner — Tips for safety in the kitchen

By Nicole Weddington     Nov 22, 2014 in Lifestyle
The holidays are a time of family get-togethers and sharing food and fun with loved ones. Basic safety practices can ensure that your holiday festivities will be accident free and safe for everyone involved.
The leading cause of residential fires on Thanksgiving is cooking. Unsafe practices can result in serious injury, property damage and even death.
To keep you and your family safe, you should:
Never leave your cooking equipment unattended
Forgetting about your cooking or leaving it unattended is a ‘leading factor’ in cooking fires during the holidays. While cooking give the activity your undivided attention.
Never misuse your cooking equipment
There is a right tool for every job and that includes cooking. Don’t use electrical appliances on a stovetop. Do not throw hot food, oil or pots and pans in the trash. Before leaving a pot or pan, make sure that it is cool to the touch.
Check your appliances regularly
Most cooking fires start on the stove top. Make sure all of your gas lines and electrical wires are unworn and undamaged. Make sure that gas appliances are vented correctly and that there are no leaks or obstructions in the line.
Make sure your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are working
Too many homes do not have a functioning smoke alarm. If a fire starts, a smoke alarm may be the only thing that can save your family.
Caution is required when cooking
Oils, fat and grease are flammable and splatter while cooking. A spark or too high of a heat source can cause the spill to ignite and create a fire in your kitchen. The website Foodal gives a good expanation of how to cook goose. Splattering grease and oils can also cause burns without an ignition source. Water will spread a grease fire and they should be smothered with a lid on the pan that is burning or with a fire extinguisher. In an emergency, baking soda can be used to smother a grease fire.
Keep all children away from hot oils, grease and fats. It is recommended that children are kept at least three feet from any cooking or appliances.
Cooking fires are preventable and by following these easy steps you will ensure that you have a safe and happy holiday.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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