As the holidays begin, many of us are starting to spend a lot more time in the kitchen. It’s one of the most enjoyable activities of the season — but among all this fine holiday fun, our top priority should be fire prevention. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), Thanksgiving is the peak day of the year for home cooking fires (three times the risk over any other day of the year). Predictably, Christmas Day and Christmas Eve ranked second and third (twice the daily average of home cooking fires for both days). As a provider of residential fire alarms in San Angelo, we encourage you to put fire prevention first this holiday season. Here are some tips for preventing kitchen fires during the holidays.
Let’s talk turkey.
For many families, the holiday cooking starts with the Thanksgiving turkey. Although there are many ways to prepare it, roasting it in the oven is still the gold standard (and often, it’s the safest means of preparation). One note of caution: If you use a disposable aluminum roasting pan, make sure it’s a new pan with no cuts or holes. Any punctures in your pan will result in dripping grease, which could fill your kitchen with smoke and quickly start an oven fire. By roasting in a brand new aluminum pan or a metal pan, you’re already making big strides toward fire prevention. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) advises against frying a turkey, despite its popularity, as they can lead to severe burns, injuries, and property damage.
Be kitchen cautious.
Unattended cooking causes 49% of all reported home fires, 42% of home fire injuries, and 20% of home fire deaths. Once cooking begins, stay at home the entire time and check on your bird every 30 to 40 minutes. To keep your turkey from drying out (also a fire hazard), baste it every time you check on it. Never leave the kitchen while cooking on the stovetop — and speaking of the stovetop, keep things that can catch fire like oven mitts, wooden utensils, food wrappers, and towels at least three feet away from the cooking area. Cook with short sleeves on or your sleeves rolled up. And always have a lid nearby, so that any fires on the stovetop can be covered with the lid as you quickly turn off the burner and get things cooled down. The NFPA says to never throw water or use a fire extinguisher on the fire.
Clear the air.
“Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.” We’ve all heard the saying, but there’s a truth in there about fire prevention. By keeping smoke out of the air while you’re cooking, you’re being proactive about preventing fire. Ventilate your kitchen by opening windows and using your range hood, and make sure your smoke alarms are working; having working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in a home fire by 50%. Be aware that butter, cooking oil and other fat-based ingredients are highly flammable and can trigger your smoke alarm. To reduce the risk of filling the kitchen with smoke or starting a baking fire, turn your oven down in between batches to cool it down.
These are some key ways to keep fire prevention the focus as you begin your holiday cooking. To learn about residential fire alarms for your San Angelo area home, call VGI Technology today. We look forward to helping you.
About VGI Technology
VGI Technology has been providing the highest quality installations and service for Internet access, video surveillance systems, security systems/alarms, access control systems, and home automation since 2002. Born as a local San Angelo business, we have since grown to service the Concho Valley, Permian Basin and Hill Country markets of San Angelo, Midland/Odessa, Big Lake, Eldorado, Sonora, Ballinger, Brownwood, Garden City, Sterling City, Mertzon, Eldorado, Marble Falls and Horseshoe Bay.
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