Thanksgiving Day has more than double the number of home cooking fires than an average day according to the U.S. Fire Administration. In fact, each year more than 4,000 fires occur on Thanksgiving Day.
"Unattended cooking is the leading cause of Thanksgiving Day home fires, and it's easy to understand why," said Red Cross preparedness expert Heidi Taylor. "People can easily become distracted and lose track of what's happening in the kitchen when they are enjoying spending time with family and friends."
To help prevent home fires this Thanksgiving, the Red Cross suggests the following tips:
- Keep potholders and food wrappers at least three feet away from heat sources while cooking
- Wear tighter fitting clothing with shorter sleeves when cooking
- Make sure all stoves, ovens, and ranges have been turned off when you leave the kitchen
- Set timers to keep track of turkeys and other food items that require extended cooking times
- Turn handles of pots and pans on the stove inward to avoid accidents
- After guests leave, designate a responsible adult to walk around the home making sure that all candles and smoking materials are extinguished
Even with the best preparation and precautions, accidents can happen. Thanksgiving is high time for cooking related burns. Minor burns can be treated easily if you remember to save the butter for the rolls and not a burn. For a superficial burn, cool the area by running it under cold water until the heat eases and then loosely cover the burn with a sterile dressing.
Courtesy American Red Cross