Thanksgiving is a time of delicious dinners and family get-togethers. It is also when you are more likely to be cooking at home. While nothing beats the mouth-watering sight of a Thanksgiving turkey on the dinner table, Thanksgiving is also the time when cooking fire accidents are common. In fact, the largest number of cooking fires across United States on a single day takes place on Thanksgiving.
According to National Fire Protection Association, the U.S. fire departments received reports of nearly 1,570 cooking fire accidents on Thanksgiving in 2016. Negligence is the leading cause of home fires on this occasion.
This is why it is important to be extra careful and vigilant when cooking on Thanksgiving Day this year. The following are some tips for safe preparations:
Beware of the Turkey Fryer
Turkey fryers are routinely used by homeowners to prepare the turkey that is the hallmark of a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. However, turkey fryers also pose risks as many have been reported to have exploded, causing a fire. According to one estimate, deep-fryer accidents cause $15 million in property damage and five deaths every year. As personal injury lawyers have seen, a large number of such deep-fryer accidents take place on Thanksgiving.
If you are using a turkey fryer, make sure you take precautions. As a rule, keep your fryer away from walls and other structures. Try to keep it in an open area where it will not cause fire to other surfaces. Protect your eyes and skin from hot oil spatters and/or spills. If the oil in the fryer starts creating smoke, turn off the gas supply immediately.
Keep Your Oven Clean
Before you use your oven to cook, make sure you do a preliminary inspection. An oven that is not clean may be a serious risk. You never know what is lying around inside the oven. The smallest of debris can create a major hazard. This is why it is important to thoroughly check the oven and remove any debris in order to prepare the oven for safe cooking.
Stay in the Kitchen
Many cooks will abandon the stove during Thanksgiving meal preparations to partake in other activities. Such negligence is the leading cause of cooking-related accidents during Thanksgiving. If you have something cooking on the stove top, make sure you are close and are keeping an eye on it. You can abandon the cooking station once the food is on a low flame and merely simmering. But even then it is important to check it every few minutes.
Keep Children at a Safe Distance
When you are cooking food in the kitchen, children must be kept a few feet from the pots, pans and hot foods. This is important as children may spill or accidentally turn over the containers in which you cook or hold food. This can create a serious hazard especially when the food is hot. Burns and more serious injuries are common in accidental food spills caused by children. To prevent such accidents, maintain a rule through Thanksgiving – keep children at least 3 to 5 feet from all cooking surfaces.
Avoid Wearing Loose Clothing
Clothes are highly flammable and will quickly catch fire if they come in contact with a flame. The risk of such an accident can be minimized by wearing tight-fitting clothing. Loose clothes are more likely to touch a flame. They are also more likely to catch on door handles, pan handles and other utensils which can cause accidental spills and other risks.
Double-Check the Smoke Alarms
Despite your best efforts, sometimes accidents happen, and it is best to be prepared. If a fire does somehow occur, a functional smoke alarm can save lives and help control the fire. This is why it is vital to double-check your smoke alarm ahead of Thanksgiving Day.
Cooking Fire Accidents on Thanksgiving Day
If you incur a personal injury because a fryer explosion, you may be eligible for compensatory damages. Such damages help you cover the costs of the property damage as well as any other losses.
Contact Hare, Wynn, Newell & Newton today to discuss your case with Birmingham injury lawyers and book a FREE consultation.