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ASK THE EXPERTS

Don’t let home cooking fires spoil Thanksgiving holiday

POSTED: November 18, 2009 4:00 a.m.

Cooking is the leading cause of residential structure fires on Thanksgiving Day. 

  

“Thanksgiving Day has more than double the number of home cooking fires than an average day,” said Dawson County Deputy Chief of Emergency Services Tim Satterfield. 

  

“Each year nearly 4,300 fires in the United States occur on Thanksgiving Day, causing 15 fatalities, about 50 injuries and nearly $27 million in property damage,” reports the United States Fire Administration.  “Of these fires, 1,450 are in residential structures that claim 15 lives, injure 41 and cause $21 million in damage.”

  

Dawson County Emergency Services urges residents to follow these safety tips this Thanksgiving.

  

• Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling or broiling food. If you must leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.

  

• If you are simmering, baking, boiling or roasting food, check it regularly, remain in the home while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that the stove or oven is on.

  

• Avoid wearing loose clothing or dangling sleeves while cooking.

  

• Keep kids away from cooking areas by enforcing a “kid-free zone” of three feet around the stove.

  

• Keep anything that can catch on fire — pot holders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging and towels or curtains-away from your stove top and oven or any other appliance in the kitchen that generates heat.

  

• If you must use a turkey fryer, make sure it is outdoors and in an open area away from all walls, fences or other structures that could catch on fire and away from moisture that can cause serious burns from steam or splattering hot oil. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

  

• Smoke alarms save lives. Install a smoke alarm near your kitchen and use the test button to check it each month. Replace all batteries at least once a year.

  

• After your Thanksgiving guests leave, ask a family member to perform a home safety check to ensure that all candles and smoking materials are extinguished.

  

Dawson County Emergency Services is committed to the preservation of the lives and property of the residents of Dawson County.

 

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