As families travel and come together this Thanksgiving, here are some tips to enjoy a safe holiday.
Cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires and Thanksgiving is the peak day for these tragedies to occur. The American Red Cross offers these safety tips:
- Never leave cooking food unattended. If you must leave the kitchen, even for a short period of time, turn off the stove.
- Move items that can burn away from the stove. This includes dishtowels, bags, boxes, paper and curtains.
- Avoid wearing loose clothing or dangling sleeves while cooking.
- When frying food, turn the burner off if you see smoke or if the grease starts to boil. Carefully remove the pan from the burner.
- Keep a pan lid or a cookie sheet nearby. Use it to cover the pan if it catches on fire. This will put out the fire. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.
- Turn pot handles to the back of the stove, so no one bumps them or pulls them over.
- Use a timer to remind yourself that the stove or oven is on. Check the kitchen before going to bed or leaving home to ensure all stoves, ovens and small appliances are turned off.
Also, be careful when disposing of fats, oils, and grease (FOG) that can be produced when cooking. When FOG is poured down the drain, it cools and hardens, and can lead to blockages in either the main sewer system or in lines that extend from the home.
Some ways to properly and safely dispose of FOG without putting it down the drain are:
- Pouring cooled fats, oils and grease into a covered, disposable container and tossing it into your garbage instead of down sink drains.
- Soaking up remaining FOG with paper towels and placing in the trash.
- Scraping food scraps into your compost or trash before washing dishes.
- Using sink strainers to catch any remaining food waste while washing dishes.