As you prepare your holiday meals this year, it is important to keep you and your family safe. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), cooking is the number one cause of home fires and home fire injuries. There are simple ways home owners can make sure their family and loved ones are safe in and around the kitchen during the holidays. As you spend more time in the kitchen this year, keep the following tips in mind.
Stay in the kitchen while cooking. With so many distractions at home from phone calls to kids needing help with homework, it may be tempting to step away from your kitchen for a few minutes. If you are frying, boiling, grilling or broiling food, make sure to stay in the kitchen. Unattended cooking is the leading cause of fires in the kitchen. Experts recommend staying home and checking your food regularly especially if you are simmering, baking or roasting food.
Keep a lid within reach. When you’re cooking make sure you always have a lid nearby. If a small grease fire starts in your kitchen, experts recommend sliding the lid over the pan and turning off the burner. Avoid uncovering the pan until it is completely cool.
Be aware of flammable materials. Make sure to remove anything that could catch fire away from your stovetop. Another thing to remember is loose clothing can hang down onto stove burners and catch fire. Wear short, close-fitting or tightly rolled sleeves when cooking.
Keep children away from cooking areas. Preparing meals with your family can be a treasured tradition. Don’t forget about safety. If you have small children in your kitchen, NFPA recommends setting up a “kid-free zone” at least three feet around your stove and areas where hot food or drink is prepared or carried.
Don’t forget about smoke alarms. Working smoking alarms in your home can cut in half the risk of fire-related deaths. If you don’t already have smoke alarms in your home, install them in every sleeping room and outside each separate sleeping area on every level of your home. If you have smoke alarms installed, remember to test your smoke alarms at least once a month using the test buttons.
For more home safety tips, contact your local association here.