The Spokane Valley Fire Department offers tips for cooking safely on Thanksgiving

SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. — Cooking fires can happen any time of the year, but on Thanksgiving there are more distractions that could lead to a disaster if you’re not careful.

The National Fire Protection Association says Thanksgiving is actually the leading day of the year for home fires involving cooking equipment.

From electrical fires to improper use of a turkey fryer, there are a lot of risks this time of year, but our local fire departments are here to help you prepare for the holiday.

The Spokane Valley Fire Department has these tips online on practicing safety on Thanksgiving and any time you’re in the kitchen:

  • Protect Children from Scalds and Burns. Young children are at high risk of being burned by hot food and liquids. Keep children away from cooking areas by enforcing a “kid-free zone” of 3 feet around the stove.
  • Watch What You’re Cooking. The leading cause of fires in the kitchen is unattended cooking. Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, or cooking food on the stove top or broiling food.
  • Choose the Right Equipment and Use It Properly. Follow manufacturers’ instructions when using cooking equipment. Remember to plug microwave ovens and other cooking appliances directly into an outlet. Never use an extension cord for a cooking appliance, as it can overload the circuit and cause a fire. Cook only with equipment designed and intended for cooking, and heat your home only with equipment designed and intended for heating.
  • Keep Things That Can Catch Fire and Heat Sources Apart. Keep anything that can catch fire – potholders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, towels, or curtains – away from your stovetop. Keep the stovetop, burners, and oven clean. Wear short, close-fitting or tightly rolled sleeves when cooking.
  • Prevent Scalds and Burns. To prevent spills due to overturned appliances containing hot food or liquids, use the back burner when possible, and/or turn pot handles away from the stove’s edge. Use oven mitts or potholders when moving hot food from ovens, microwave ovens, or stovetops.

For more information on cooking safely this holiday season, see the SVFD website and the NFPA website.

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