Thanksgiving Disaster Prevention: Holiday Cooking Safety Tips 

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By Marcus Fernandez

A Thanksgiving Day photo usually shows a dining room table set with food awaiting the arrival of holiday guests. It’s easy to forget about the kitchen, where hours of preparation and cooking go into creating the food families enjoy.

The kitchen becomes a flurry of activity, especially on Thanksgiving Day and the days leading up to it. If adults and children sharing a limited amount of space surrounded by open flames, hot surfaces, sharp knives, and electric appliances sounds like a recipe for disaster, then welcome to the typical kitchen during the holidays. It’s a disaster waiting to happen. 

To help you get through Thanksgiving and the rest of this upcoming holiday season, an article focusing on kitchen and cooking safety tips seems appropriate. If it prevents just one of the more than 165,000 cooking fires that claim about 200 lives and leave thousands of people injured, then the information provided served a useful purpose.

Safety tips to prevent damage and injuries when cooking

According to Hillsborough County Fire Rescue, cooking fires are the leading cause of fires in the home. The most cooking fires in the country were reported on Thanksgiving Day in 2021. 

Here are a few safety tips to reduce the risk of a cooking fire in your kitchen this holiday season:

  • Do not leave the house with food cooking on the stove or in the oven 
  • Food cooking on a stovetop should be supervised at all times.
  • Turn the handles of pots and pans toward the rear of the stove to prevent accidentally knocking into them.
  • Keep flammable objects, such as towels, oven mitts, wooden spoons and utensils, and aprons or other loose garments away from the stove or other open flame.
  • Anyone not involved in the preparation of the food should be kept out of the kitchen. The more people, especially children, in the kitchen, the greater the likelihood of someone coming in contact with a hot surface or open flame.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher within reach in the kitchen.
  • When cooking food in a frying pan or pot, have a lid within reach. If a fire erupts in a pot or frying pan, do not pour water on it. Water may cause burning grease and oils to splatter and spread the fire. Instead, quickly cover the pot or pan with a lid and turn off the burner.
  • If a fire breaks out in the kitchen that you cannot immediately extinguish, take everyone and leave the house. Once safely outside and away from the house, call 911 and wait for the fire department to arrive.

Periodically check the fire extinguishers in your house to ensure they are fully charged and ready for use. Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors save lives only when they work. Get in the habit of testing them once a month for your safety and others. All it takes is pressing the test button.

Frying a turkey? Read this first

If you plan to deep fry this year’s Thanksgiving Day turkey, take it outdoors. Do not lower or raise a turkey into boiling oil indoors; always ensure a responsible adult supervises the entire cooking process.

Never lower a fully or partially frozen turkey into a deep fryer. The water from a frozen turkey and the boiling cooking oil of the fryer is an explosive combination. This can cause fires and severe burn injuries. Read and follow the safety instructions that come with the deep-frying device.

When holiday accidents occur, contact a Tampa personal injury lawyer

If you are injured in an accident this holiday season, you may be entitled to recover compensation from the at-fault party. When accidents occur because of the negligence of another person or a defective appliance, get advice and guidance from a Tampa personal injury lawyer at Kinney, Fernandez & Boire, P.A. Contact KFB Law today for a free consultation.