10 Thanksgiving Cooking Safety Tips
November’s last Thursday promises to be a gastronomic feast. Guests relish their first choice of the delicious Thanksgiving pickings. Hours of merriment are in the making on Thanksgiving Day. Before the celebrations can start, however, ingredients must be sliced and diced, and the food must be cooked.
Laboring over the stove on this special occasion requires attention to established cooking safety tips—and for good reason. Frozen turkeys can combust when lowered into a deep fryer. An oven dripping with grease can set ablaze. Plenty of additional risks occur when cooking for a crowd.
Cooking on Thanksgiving Day can pose as a serious hazard—unless cooks follow practical safety tips. Cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires, and fire departments respond to more fires on Thanksgiving than any other day of the year. These safety tips keep cooking fires at bay.
Safety Tip #1: Test Smoke Alarm
Before planning the Thanksgiving menu, test the batteries in the home’s smoke alarms. Simply push the button on the alarm to ensure it works. A piercing alarm sounds from a functional detector. If the battery is weak, a faint sound will occur, prompting the need for an immediate battery replacement.
Safety Tip #2: Keep a Fire Extinguisher Handy
Prior to perusing the holiday cookbooks, the well-prepared cook has a fire extinguisher in the kitchen or in close proximity. Understand how to use the device. Fire extinguishers can be utilized via the PASS (pull, aim, squeeze and sweep) technique and successfully wipe out small kitchen fires.
Safety Tip #3: Dress Appropriately
Even cooking has a dress code. Prevent clothes from catching fire by wearing short sleeves or snug clothing. Loose clothing can droop onto a heated range and become a fuel for fire. Thanksgiving Day might be chilly, so roll up the shirt sleeves if electing to wear long sleeves.
Safety Tip #3: Cook on a Clean Stove
Dirty stovetops and ovens are a fire risk. The spilled fats and splatters of grease are notorious for starting grease fires. Prevent fiery calamities by cleaning the stovetop and oven with a combination of baking soda and dish soap prior to usage on Thanksgiving Day.
Relevant to cooking on a clean stove is keeping the stovetop free of flammable materials. Common kitchen items that can attract flames include towels, drapes, pot holders, and food packaging. Move combustible items away from the stovetop to work in a safe, clean cooking environment.
Safety Tip #4: Turn Pot Handles Inward
When handles of pots point outward, the boiling liquids inside can cause severe burns to anyone who accidentally knocks into them. When children or a large number of guests frequent the kitchen, this safety tip becomes especially important. Ensure everyone’s safety by pointing pot handles inward.
Safety Tip #5: Create a Safe Zone
The kitchen is sure to be buzzing with guests, young and old, on Thanksgiving. Keep children safe from hot oil splatters and boiling liquids by enforcing a three-foot safe zone around the stove. Children and pets should not be allowed inside this safe zone.
Safety Tip #6: Set a Timer
A flurry of Thanksgiving guests can distract cooks from the gravy simmering on the stove or the turkey roasting inside the oven. It is prudent to remain in the kitchen during all phases of meal preparation. If stepping away briefly, set a timer as a reminder that food is cooking.
Safety Tip #7: Ensure Personal Safety
Cooks preparing the Thanksgiving feast should also take steps to preserve their safety in the kitchen. Tripping hazards, like running children, scattered toys or roaming pets, can cause a nasty fall. Organize the kitchen environment so that floor hazards are nonexistent; and safely focus on cooking.
Safety Tip #8: Handle Oven Fires Safely
Sweet potatoes may catch fire inside the oven, especially if the oven is already caked with grease. If an oven fire breaks out, keep the oven door completely shut and switch off the heat. The closed oven door should squash the fires. Before using the oven again, service the appliance.
Safety Tip #9: Keep Pan Lids Nearby
Savvy Thanksgiving cooks know to keep a baking sheet or pan lid on hand to suffocate accidental flames. When cooking on an electric stovetop, never use water to extinguish the fires. Doing so will deliver a jolt of electricity, an electrical shock or cause the fire to worsen.
Safety Tip #10: Reconsider Deep Frying Turkey
A deep-fried bird is crisp, moist and an appetizing main course at the Thanksgiving feast. It’s understandable that presenting the most delicious version of the bird is desired. However, be careful when considering deep frying the turkey. A single misstep can create a fiery mishap.
Turkey fryers should only be used outdoors on a level surface. Never attempt to plunge a frozen bird into a vat of hot oil—the turkey will combust in seconds. The resulting fire can severely burn anyone in the nearby vicinity. Plus, splattering, hot oil is a recipe for disaster.
Fire Damage Restoration on Thanksgiving
In the event a cooking fire breaks out on Thanksgiving Day or any other day of the year, contact the most trusted fire and smoke damage restoration service in the City of Angels, ServiceMaster EMT. Our skilled, experienced technicians will proficiently control the structural damage caused by fire before the ruin has a chance to spread.
ServiceMaster EMT fire damage specialists work quickly to stabilize the affected property. Emergency pre-cleaning takes care of burned materials fast. Our content cleaning as well as ceiling, wall, carpet and upholstery cleaning helps homeowners return to normal as quickly as possible.
Fire damage restoration requires speed, advanced techniques and a dedicated crew. ServiceMaster EMT, which serves the greater residential and business communities in Southern California and Nevada, delivers all three, plus the advantage of being the area’s most comprehensive fire and smoke damage restoration service.