The holiday season is a wonderful time. Families from all across the country have an opportunity to bond over music, their favorite holiday films, and most importantly delicious food. Between sugar cookies and the turkey feast you are going to cook, you will be in your kitchen much more often than the rest of the year. But as you prepare these delicious holiday meals and the treats you have made since you were a child, it is far more likely for a kitchen fire to occur. This is because with the holiday season comes more stress, more guests, and more cooking.
Reports from U.S. fire departments show that there were more than 12,860 home fires reported during the Christmas season between 2005 and 2009. Out of these reported fires 2 in every 5 were reported to start in the kitchen. Find out how you can avoid becoming part of the statistics and learn how to be safe in the kitchen during the holiday season.
Tips on How to Avoid Kitchen Fires
One of the biggest reasons why the number of reported fires increases during the holiday season is because hosts and hostesses who are cooking tend to leave the kitchen to entertain their guests and enjoy the festivities. While it is generally safe to leave the kitchen when you are roasting the turkey or ham in the oven, you should stay in the kitchen whenever you are cooking on the stove top. The exposed flame can easily start a fire if a towel or any other flammable object is close to the burner.
Inspecting your counter top for fire hazards before you start preparing a meal is important. Look for potholders, oven mitts, paper bags, food packaging, wooden utensils, and paper towels that can catch fire. Keep them on a counter top that is not surrounding the stove top.
Wearing the right clothing is also very important. Make sure to avoid wearing loose-fitting clothing that can dangle and come into contact with a flame. Wear close-fitting clothing or short-sleeve shirts as your “chef’s outfit”.
There is definitely an increased incidence of kitchen fires throughout the U.S. during the holiday season. Fires can cause property damage, injuries, and even lead to death in serious situations. Make sure to be more attentive in the kitchen and whip up a tasty meal safely by practicing safe cooking behaviors.