NORTH HAVEN — Chief Paul Januszewski and the North Haven Fire Department would like to provide safety tips to ensure residents stay safe while baking and preparing their holiday meals over the coming days and weeks.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires, followed by Christmas Day, the day before Thanksgiving, Easter and Christmas Eve.
This year, as many families gather after a hiatus in 2020 due to COVID-19, the North Haven Fire Department urges residents to consider taking precautions to limit the spread of the virus, including getting vaccinated or getting tested prior to gathering.
To prevent seasonal cooking fires, the North Haven Fire Department wishes to share the following tips from the NFPA so families can prepare holiday meals without the risk of danger:
- Never leave anything cooking unattended.
- The NFPA discourages the use of deep fryers for cooking turkeys, but those who do use one should do so on a flat surface outdoors and at least 10 feet away from structures, including porches. Turkeys should be completely thawed and dried before being placed in the deep fryer to avoid flare-ups.
- Stand by your pan! If a grease fire starts in a pan, smother the flames by sliding the lid – while wearing an oven mitt – over the pan. If safe to do so, turn off the heat source. Do not move the pan, and keep the lid on until the fire is out and the pan is completely cool.
- Stay home when cooking your turkey, and check on it frequently.
- Keep children and pets away from the stove. Kids and pets should be kept 3 feet away from the stove.
- Make sure kids stay away from hot food and liquids. The steam or splash from vegetables, gravy or coffee can cause serious burns.
- Keep knives out of the reach of children.
- Be sure electric cords from an electric knife, coffee maker, plate warmer or mixer are not dangling off the counter within easy reach of a child.
- Keep matches and utility lighters out of the reach of children — up high in a locked cabinet.
- Keep the kitchen and dining room floor clear so you don’t trip over kids, toys, pocketbooks or bags while cooking or handling food.
- Test your smoke alarms and make sure their batteries are replaced if needed.
If you have any questions about cooking safety, please contact the North Haven Fire Department at 203-239-5321.