The Union County Red Cross wants people to remember to be safe on Thanksgiving, while in the kitchen. Cooking is the number one cause of home fires. Red Cross officials advise:
• Not to wear loose clothing or dangling sleeves while cooking
• Don’t leave cooking food unattended – stay in the kitchen when frying, grilling or broiling food. If you must leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
• Check your food regularly while cooking and remain in the home while cooking. Use a timer to remind yourself that the stove or oven is on.
• Keep the kids away from the cooking area. Enforce a “kid-free zone” and make them stay at least three feet away from the stove.
• Keep anything that can catch fire – pot holders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, and towels or curtains – away from your stove, oven or any other appliance in the kitchen that generates heat.
• Clean cooking surfaces regularly to prevent grease buildup.
• Consider purchasing a fire extinguisher to keep in your kitchen. Contact your local fire department to take training on the proper use of extinguishers.
• Always check the kitchen before going to bed or leaving the home to make sure all stoves, ovens, and small appliances are turned off.
• Install a smoke alarm near your kitchen, on each level of your home, near sleeping areas, and inside and outside bedrooms if you sleep with doors closed. Use the test button to check it each month. Replace all batteries at least once a year.