Thanksgiving is a time for family, gathering together in the kitchen preparing food and reflecting on all of our blessings. With the kitchen being the heart of the home, especially at Thanksgiving, it is important to remember kitchen safety when there is a lot of activity and people at home.
According to NFPA, Thanksgiving is the leading day of the year for home fires involving cooking equipment. Take this opportunity to create activities that keep kids out of the kitchen – board games, puzzles, books can keep them busy and out of harm’s way. Here are some safety tips to think about leading up to this family holiday.
• Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stovetop 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 3 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.
• If you’re considering using a turkey fryer, please do some additional research. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) discourages the use of these types of fryers for many reasons. Most of which, is the substantial amount of cooking oil used at high temperatures, poses a significant danger during the cooking process. Please refer to this NFPA link for more information http://www.nfpa.org/safety-information/for-consumers/causes/cooking/safety-with-cooking-equipment/turkey-fryers
• Keep the floor clear so you don’t trip over kids, toys, pocketbooks or bags.
• 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.
• Test your smoke alarms and make sure all are working properly.
Ryan E. Sommers