Thanksgiving is the peak day for cooking fires according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Faribault Fire Chief Dustin Dienst told KDHL AM Minnesota listeners today that it was “frustrating” because kitchen fires are completely preventable.
The main cause of kitchen fires is unattended cooking, with most fires involving the stove.
Almost 50% of all home fires are cooking fires. Next come heating equipment (12.5%) and electrical malfunctions (6.3%).
There is a house fire in this country every 87 seconds.
Fire Chief Faribault suggests people stay in the kitchen while cooking to keep an eye on things. The NFPA says that if you leave the kitchen for even a short time, you should turn off the stove.
Dienst repeatedly suggested not to have anything combustible near the stove. Kitchen gloves, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels, curtains.
The NFPA suggests a “child-free zone” of at least 3 feet around the stove and areas where hot food or drinks are prepared or transported.
Keep the floor clear in the kitchen so you don’t trip over children, toys, wallets or bags.
Make sure that the electrical cords of an electric knife, coffee maker, plate warmer, blender, etc … do not hang on the counter within reach of a child (or a pet).
Keep knives out of the reach of children. Of course, this is great advice all year round.
Make sure your smoke detectors are working. If you are organizing a rally, press the test button.
NFPA says you should have activities for the kids to do to keep them out of the kitchen. Games, puzzles or books can keep them busy. Kids can help prepare for Thanksgiving with recipes that can be made outside of the kitchen.
Dienst says fried turkeys can be dangerous if you’re not careful what you’re doing.
Below is a podcast of the show that we recommend you listen to if you haven’t had a chance to hear it live so you can have a safe Thanksgiving.
If you have a small (grease) cooking fire and decide to fight the fire … on the stovetop, smother the flames by sliding a lid over the pan and turning off the burner. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cool.
For an oven fire, turn off the heat and leave the door closed.
If you have any doubts about fighting a small fire, get out! When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire. Dial 9-1-1 or the local emergency number from outside the house.
- According to statistics from the NFPA, more than 3,000 Americans die in fires each year.
- Every day, at least 1 child dies from a fire inside the house.
- On average, 358,500 homes experience a structural fire each year.
If you ever need to use a fire extinguisher, remember the PASS instructions.
- P-pull the pin
- Aim low at the base of the fire
- Slowly squeeze the handle
- Side-to-side nozzle S-sweep
We also touched on Christmas lights and Christmas tree safety.
Dienst says the Faribault Fire Department is hoping everyone stays safe during the holiday season.
Listen to the program’s podcast below.
Here is more information from the NFPA.
Could you guess most of them?
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Since we are talking about food.