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CAL FIRE Urges Cooking Safety With Kitchen Tips

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Sonora, CA–A lot of people in the Motherlode and around the country will be heading to the kitchen to prepare for one of the biggest meals of the year. But according to FEMA’s National Data Center, cooking is the leading cause of all Thanksgiving Day fires and more than half(54%) of these fires occur between 10 am to 5 pm, which is the traditional Thanksgiving dinner preparation time. CAL FIRE director Chief Thom Porter explains.

“Thanksgiving Day is one of our busiest days responding to home cooking fires, and we want to reduce that number by practicing fire safety, There are so many things that can happen in your kitchen while you are preparing meals, and it is easy to become distracted while cooking for family and friends. On Thanksgiving Day, with all the commotion near hot appliances, make sure to always stand next to the oven or stove when you are cooking to avoid any mishaps in the kitchen.”

The statistics back up the CAL FIRE Directors warning with 61% of reported home cooking fires being blamed on unattended ranges or cooktops.  How else can one avoid a potentially combustive Thanksgiving? The National Fire Protection Association provides the following tips to keep everyone safe and thankful on the big Turkey day.

• Always stay in the kitchen while frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you must leave the kitchen for even a short period, turn off the stove and oven.

• Regularly check on food that is simmering, baking, or roasting, and use a timer to remind you that you’re cooking.

• Turn pot handles toward the back of the stove. Someone walking by is less likely to bump them or pull them over.

• Keep children three feet away from the hot stove, and away from hot food and hot liquids.

• Make sure a fire extinguisher is always close by. Never use water to put out a grease fire.

• Ensure you have working smoke alarms installed in your home

• When using a turkey fryer, be sure to follow instructions closely. Don’t exceed the recommended oil level and only use the device outdoors.

• 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.

For even more cooking tips, you can click here.