Thanksgiving Safety tipsWhile Hoosiers finalize their holiday meal menus, the State Fire Marshal and the Indiana Department of Homeland Security are reminding everyone to use common sense in the kitchen during the holidays.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires in the United States, followed by Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

“It can be easy to get wrapped up in entertaining guests, but it is important to remember to monitor meal preparation closely,” said Indiana State Fire Marshal Jim Greeson. “Stay in the kitchen as most cooking fires start because cooking food has been left unattended.”

Greeson reminds citizens to pay attention while cooking. Keep anything that could catch fire (oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels, curtains, etc.) away from the stovetop, and be especially mindful of children. Keep them away from the stove and oven, and make sure chords or handles are out of reach.

Before preparing any meal, Greeson urges citizens to test smoke alarms, and to never disable an alarm when cooking.

“Smoke alarms should be installed on every floor of the home, and at least 10 feet from cooking appliances,” said Greeson. “If the home becomes smoky, open a window or use a fan to clear it out, but under no circumstance remove the battery from a working smoke alarm.”

Three more important cooking safety reminders:

  • More than half of cooking fire injuries occur when occupants attempt to fight the fire themselves. When in doubt, just get out! Close the door when exiting and call 9-1-1.
  • Be cautious when deep frying turkeys. Triple-check that the fryer has the right amount of oil in it and the turkey is thawed. Don’t ever use a fryer on a wooden deck, balcony or inside a garage.
  • Make sure stoves, ovens, fryers and other cooking equipment are turned off before leaving the house or going to bed.

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