Holiday Kitchen Hazards

Flaming turkey wings: funny thought, not-so-funny reality

Holiday meals can be a real challenge and it’s not just because getting everything to the table on time is tough. Cooking fires almost double on Thanksgiving and cause more property damage and severe injuries than home fires any other day of the year. Be smart and avoid these common causes of holiday kitchen fires and injuries.

  • Leaving the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, or broiling food — high temperatures and splattering fat are a terrible combination.
  • Wearing loose sleeves around the stove, fireplace, or grill — fabric can easily ignite if it touches a heat source. Fabric that is accidentally brushed over food can pick up grease, which is highly flammable.
  • Placing paper towels, napkins, placemats, towels, oven mitts, plastic bags, paper, or plastic or cardboard food packaging too near the stovetop, oven, grill, or any heat-generating appliance can cause a fire.
  • Using a stove, oven, or grill that has a buildup of grease — grease fires are very dangerous and difficult for the homeowners to get under control quickly if they do not know how to handle them.
  • Working on a crowded surface — too little room can cause dishes and utensils to fall onto the stove or the floor, resulting in burns, cuts, and damage to stoves, countertops, floors, and appliances.
  • Unsupervised children — children are curious and love to be involved in family events. Keep an eye on young children to help ensure they don’t touch sharp or hot objects or electric cords, or leave toys on the kitchen floor a hurrying adult could trip over.
  • Nonworking fire alarms — a smoke alarm is often the first thing to alert you that something is burning. Make sure yours are working before your begin your holiday preparations. A battery is a very small investment in your safety.

The worst may strike even if you take care, so be sure to have a fire extinguisher easily accessible and NEVER use water to extinguish a grease fire, as water will lead to spreading of a grease fire.

We wish you a happy, and safe, Thanksgiving!


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