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CAL FIRE Encourages Safe Holiday Cooking

Thanksgiving is upon us and CAL FIRE is reminding Californians about the dangers that can happen this holiday season.

“At Thanksgiving we tend to have multiple items cooking on the stove,” said Chief Ken Pimlott, CAL FIRE Director. “While we are with our family and friends, it is so important to not get distracted and to always stand next to the oven or stove when you are cooking. Thanksgiving Day is one of our busier days responding to home cooking fires, and we would like to reduce that number by practicing fire safety. Hopefully, we can prevent less cooking fires and you can enjoy your Thanksgiving with family and friends.”

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires, followed by Christmas Day and Christmas Eve. In 2014, nearly four times as many home cooking fires occur on Thanksgiving as on a typical day.

“Unattended cooking is the leading cause of home cooking fires,” said Lynne Tolmachoff, Chief of Public Education. “That is why it is important to always watch what you are cooking and never leave it unattended. One critical safety measure is to ensure you have working smoke alarms installed throughout your home. It’s an added measure to protect you and your family from fires in your home.”

To help reduce the chance of fire and injuries associated with holiday cooking fires, CAL FIRE offers the following tips:

Remain in the kitchen while you’re cooking, and keep a close eye on what you are cooking. Always stay in the kitchen while frying, grilling or broiling food. If you have to leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove. Regularly check on food that is simmering, baking or roasting, and use a timer to remind you that you’re cooking.

Turn pot handles toward the back of the stove. Someone walking by is less likely to bump them or pull them over.

Keep children away from the stove. The stove will be hot and kids should stay three feet away. Make sure kids stay away from hot food and liquids. The steam or splash from vegetables, gravy or coffee could cause serious burns.

When using a turkey fryer, be sure to follow instructions closely. Don’t exceed the recommended oil level and only use the device outdoors.

Make sure a fire extinguisher is handy at all times. Never use water to put out a grease fire.

Ensure you have working smoke alarms installed in your home.