Fire Safety Tips to Keep You Safe This Thanksgiving

Mythbusters on Discovery showed how a pan fire of grease…

In an effort to help you keep your family safe this Thanksgiving, we’ve got some fire safety tips.

Probably the most important place for focus for fire safety at Thanksgiving is in the kitchen. It takes less than 30 second for a small fire on the stove to get out of control and turn into a major blaze. Here are a few tips. Please read these. Even if you are not the cook, you might save someone else from making a big mistake.

Never leave cooking unattended. Always keep your stove company. Especially if you’re frying something—that’s when things can cross the line in mere seconds. It’s the leading cause of kitchen fires.

Keep it clean.  Keep your stove and counter surfaces free of clutter, grease, and especially flammable objects like hairspray, bug spray, or air freshener.

…with as little as one tablespoon of water…

Set a timer. Don’t just rely on your brain; we’re human, and its easy to get distracted. A timer can remind you to switch off the burner or oven. This has the added advantage of keeping your food items from being burned to a crisp.

In case of a pan fire or grease fire, control the fire by:

  • Covering the pan with a lid or a bigger upturned pan.
  • Turn the heat off.
  • Spray the pot with a fire extinguisher.
  • If you don’t have a fire extinguisher, douse the burning oil with baking soda.

    …can create a serious fire hazard. Here the show hosts watch as the blaze goes higher and higher.

  • Never run with a pan fire. You run the risk of spreading the firefurther when the oil drips.
  • Never throw water on the pan—it will splatter the oil and spread the fire, possibly burning you.
  • Never throw sugar or flour on a grease fire. Flour might look like baking soda, but it’s not, so it won’t react similarly! One cup of either of these baking products contains the explosive potential of two sticks of dynamite. (Pay special attention this fire safety tip, it can result in third degree burns and even death in some cases.)

Wear tight clothes while cooking. Billowing sleeves or hanging accessories above a lit stove can spell disaster.

Check the batteries in your smoke detectors.

Use electronics and appliances wisely.

Be a smart shopper. Buy electrical products evaluated by the nationally recognized laboratory (i.e. UL).

Be sure to check the label as products often contain their own set of fire safety tips and warnings.

Replace all frayed wires: worn, old, or damaged appliance cords belong in the dumpster and not shoved under the rug.

Use three-prong plugs in three-slot outlets, and two-slot plug into two-slot outlets. Make sure your kids know this, too.

Portable space heaters heaters must be kept four feet or more away from combustible surfaces and objects.

  • Ensure that your heater has a thermostat control mechanism (so it automatically switches off if it falls over!).
  • Never overheat it, and always use it in a well-ventilated room.
  • If it’s a kerosene heater, clear K-1 kerosene should be the only thing you’re feeding it.
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About Mitchelle Stephenson

I've gotta tell Mitchelle! Send your South County news tips, brag on your fab volunteers, talk traffic, police and fire or just say "howdy" to Mitchelle Stephenson, co-founding editor of the South River Source. Mitchelle@SouthRiverSource.com or reach me in person on mobile: 410-353-4706.

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