MORGANTOWN WV – Common sense tips sometimes get ignored … until something uncommon happens. That’s why a fire safety expert hopes you’ll pay attention to advice about avoiding a fire at Thanksgiving.
Home cooking fires occur more frequently during Thanksgiving than at any other time of the year, according to Mark Lambert, an assistant professor at West Virginia University and fire service director for its Extension Program. He offered these safety reminders Monday (Nov. 13, 2023), well ahead of Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 23), for your consideration:
- If you’re roasting a turkey for dinner, stay home while it cooks and check on it frequently.
- Should a fire occur in the oven, turn it off. Keep the oven door closed. Let it cool.
Fry extra safely
- “Turkey fryers are one of the top safety concerns for Thanksgiving,” Lambert said. If you decide to deep fry your turkey, be sure to use the turkey fryer outdoors only.
- Never use the fryer on a wooden deck, or in your garage.
- Never leave the fryer unattended.
- Ensure your turkey is fully thawed before frying. Hot oil can splatter when touched by anything only partially thawed … like your bird.
Guard the stove
- Stuffing, potatoes, veggies, and many other holiday trimmings are likely to be stove-top bound in preparation for the table. Stay in the kitchen, so you can keep an eye on the simmering food.
- Turn pot handles toward the back of the stove, so they can’t accidentally be hit or knocked over.
- Keep anything that can catch fire, like oven mitts or dish towels, away from the stove.
- Make sure kids stay away from hot food and liquids; even gravy can cause serious burns, Lambert warned.
Defend the decor
- Plenty of hosts use candles as part of their table settings. If you’re among them, don’t light candles and leave the room. Children and pets could become unintended burn victims if left alone in a room with a lit candle, Lambert observes.
- For the same reason, he suggests keeping matches and utility lighters on a high shelf in a locked cabinet.
Fire safety common sense can make Thanksgiving a time to enjoy food, family, friends, and maybe some football, too.