Thanksgiving Fire SafetyThanksgiving is the time to gather friends and family around the table, show appreciation, and of course cook and eat some amazing food. Every year, many people break out old family favorites and try their hand at new recipes. While all of this cooking can be fun, it comes with a fair amount of risk.

To stay safe while cooking the holiday meal this year, remember the following tips.

Never Leave Cooking Food Unattended

With family arriving and all of the commotion that comes with having a house full of people, it can be tempting to leave the kitchen to greet guests and chat. It may be unrealistic for everyone to stay in the kitchen throughout the whole day, but always make sure that there is at least one person keeping an eye on cooking foods. A few minutes is all that it takes for a fire to become uncontrollable.

Follow the Directions

Many fires are started every year by people deep frying a turkey for the first time and not following the directions. Just about any recipe that involves grease and heat has the potential to become dangerous if the directions are not followed exactly. “Winging it” can become risky when there are so many activities taking place at once, so take the time to read and follow directions.

Watch Fabrics around Flames and Burners

Many families have the tradition of getting dressed up for Thanksgiving. This can be problematic if clothing is loose fitting or if there are accessories that can fall off. Remove jackets and hats and be mindful of having fabrics near open flames or heat sources when cooking. Also be careful when putting pot holders, oven mitts, and towels down to keep these articles away from heat and flames.

Keep Fire Extinguishers on Hand

Fire extinguishers should be readily available so that they can be reached in an instant when cooking Thanksgiving dinner. It is important that several people understand how to use the fire extinguishers. It is also critical that everyone knows what types of fires different fire extinguishers should be used for.

Know How to Put a Fire Out

Different types of fires require different methods and substances to extinguish. Water may be useful for putting out wood fires, but this is generally unhelpful when you are cooking. Baking soda and chemical fire extinguishers can be used to snuff out grease fires and oven fires. Electrical fires should be smothered with a fireproof blanket.

Removing the heat source by turning off the oven, burner, or fryer may also be necessary.

If a fire becomes too large, prioritize the safety of the family and evacuate the home. Emergency services can put the fire out and the kitchen can always be restored later.

Practice fire safety when cooking this Thanksgiving to keep your family and home safe.