Thanksgiving fire safety

The Shelton Fire Department is urging the public to keep safety in mind when preparing meals and using candles this Thanksgiving. Statistics from U.S. Fire Administration indicate that Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires. The average number of home fires on Thanksgiving Day is normally double the average number of fires in homes all other days.

Most fires that result during cooking can be avoided by paying attention and being organized. To prevent a fire or injury and stay safe when cooking and celebrating Thanksgiving, follow these simple rules:

·       Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you must leave the home for even a short period of time, turn off the stove or oven.

·       If you are simmering, baking, boiling, or roasting food, check it regularly and remain in the home while food is cooking. Use a timer to remind you that the stove or oven is on.

·       Stay alert. Don’t cook if you are sleepy, have been drinking alcohol or have taken medicine that makes you drowsy.

·       Make your cooking area safe. Move things that can burn away from the stove. Keep things that burn – pot holders, oven mitts, paper or plastic - off your stovetop.

·       Turn pot handles toward the back so they can’t be bumped.

·       Don’t store things that can burn in an oven, microwave, or toaster oven.

·       Clean food and grease off burners, stovetops, and ovens.

·       Wear clothing with sleeves that are short, close fitting, or tightly rolled up.

·       Always keep an oven mitt and lid nearby when you're cooking. If a small grease fire starts in a pan, put on an oven mitt and smother the flames by carefully sliding the lid over the pan. Turn off the burner. Don't remove the lid until it is completely cool.

·       If there is an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed to prevent flames from burning you and your clothing. Have the oven serviced before you use it again.

·       Use turkey fryers outdoors, away from the home and deck. Always monitor oil temperature. Use caution to not overfill or spill hot oil.

·       Keep children away from the stove. The stove will be hot and kids should stay 3 feet away.

Don’t forget about fire dangers posed by lit candles.

·       Flameless “candles”, such as battery powered are always preferred for safety.

·       Flame lit candles should be in a safe location that is kept free of combustible surroundings. Consider where combustible items might be placed and where candles could be knocked over and where they could be forgotten about over time.

·       Never leave children alone in room with a lit a candle.