10 tips for preventing turkey fires
For many Canadians, Thanksgiving is a time to gather with friends and family to enjoy a delicious meal together. With so much to look forward to and prepare, it’s easy to forget about safety. Did you know that a cooking fire is three times more likely to happen on Thanksgiving Day than any other day of the year? Fire Prevention Canada reports that eight Canadians die from fire-related situations every week, with residential fires accounting for 73 per cent of these fatalities. Consider these tips to prevent kitchen fires and help ensure a safe holiday for you and your loved ones.
- Test smoke alarms
Push the test button on all smoke alarms to ensure they are working properly. If your smoke detectors are not working, you should change the batteries or replace the alarm before you begin preparing your holiday meal.
- Start with a clean kitchen
Before you start cooking, make sure the oven, burners and stovetop are clear of grease and food buildup. Not only will this help you prevent kitchen fires this holiday, it will also help prevent food contamination. To prevent falls that could lead to fires or burn injuries, keep the floor clear of tripping hazards and clean up any spills as soon as they happen.
- Never leave cooking food unattended
Unattended cooking is a leading cause of cooking fires in Canada.1 To help prevent kitchen fires stay close to all cooking appliances while in use and never leave your home while the oven is on. Remember, kitchen fires can spread quickly.
- Make kitchen safety rules for kids
Many kids enjoy helping to make food for the holidays but being in a busy kitchen can be dangerous. If you will have small children at your celebration this year, remember to set firm rules for when they help in the kitchen. Keep kids at least three feet away from the stove. Any hot food or liquids can cause serious burns. Ensure knives, candles, matches and lighters are kept far out of reach of children.
- Watch for fire hazards
Things like dish towels, napkins, food packaging and kitchen utensils can quickly catch fire if they are left too close to a hot surface. Be sure to keep those and other items away from open flames and hot surfaces. Avoid wearing long sleeves, loose clothing or accessories. They can easily catch fire around open flame.
- Turn burners off when not in use
It can be easy to forget to turn a burner off, or even accidentally turn one on in a busy kitchen. Regularly check that all burners are turned off when not in use and remove all items from the stovetop when you are finished cooking.
- Leave turkey frying to the professionals
Deep frying a turkey can be very dangerous. The hot oil used to deep fry a turkey can easily cause second- and third-degree burns, ignite, and spread fires. Consider purchasing a deep-fried turkey from a trusted local vendor rather than deep-frying it yourself. If you choose to do it yourself, make sure you have the proper equipment to extinguish a fire, suitable for your cooking method, and take the time to learn how to safely operate the equipment before cooking. Knowing how to respond in an emergency can make all the difference.
- Save alcohol for after dinner
You need to stay alert while cooking, and not just to avoid overcooking your meal. In order to watch for and react to safety hazards you must be able to think quickly and clearly. If you do choose to partake in alcoholic beverages, save it for after the cooking is done.
- Keep a pot cover and fire extinguisher nearby
Never put water on a grease fire. The best thing to do if flames break out in the kitchen is to quickly smother them with a pot cover or use a fire extinguisher. Keep both within easy reach of your cooking area and make sure that anyone helping in the kitchen knows how to use them.
- Have an evacuation plan ready
If you do not already have a fire evacuation plan in place, now is the time to make one. Ensure all guests are familiar with the plan. In the event of a fire, knowing how to safely evacuate and where to meet-up once outside can save lives.
Sometimes accidents happen to even the most prepared and cautious homeowners. That is why it is important to know that you have the right insurance coverage. If you have any questions about your existing home, condo, or tenant coverage, AGR Insurance can help!
Speak to one of our licensed brokers today by calling 1-800-668-0250.