11/21/2012 9:37:00 AM Fire marshal urges: cook a safe Thanksgiving feast Cooking mishaps are number one cause of home fires and home fire injuries
Courtesy Art Castricone Chino Valley Fire Marshal
Cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires and home fire injuries.
The National Fire Protection Association in 2010 stated that cooking was involved in an estimated 156,400 home structure fires in the U.S.
These fires caused 410 deaths, 5,310 injuries and $993 million in direct property damage.
It's no surprise that cooking fires peak on Thanksgiving. Unattended cooking is a major reason these fires occur. Here are a few suggestions for a safer Thanksgiving:
Stay in the kitchen when frying, grilling, or broiling food.
If you must leave the kitchen for even a short time, turn off the stove. Be mindful of unexpected distractions (phone calls, visitors, etc.) that take your attention away from your cooking.
If you are simmering, baking, boiling, or roasting food, check it regularly. Stay in the home while food is cooking and use a timer to remind you the stove or oven is on.
Avoid wearing loose clothes (especially with dangling sleeves) while cooking. Loose clothing can catch fire when exposed directly to many of the heat sources present in the kitchen.
Use extra caution with candles and where you place them. Never leave candles burning unattended!
In recent years deep frying of Thanksgiving turkeys has become very popular. This method of cooking involves using a large quantity of very hot oil. It can be dangerous, and extreme caution must be used. Many scenarios can easily result in extensive fire.
If you absolutely must use a turkey fryer, be aware of the safety measures that must be taken, remember how easily a fire can occur, and never use this type of fryer indoors. Always follow the manufacturer's instructions.
For more information on fire safety, call the Chino Valley Fire District at 928-636-2442.