Tips to keep us out of your kitchen this Thanksgiving!

fireThanksgiving is a day filled with family, parades, football and, of course, food! The kitchen is the heart of home, especially during the holidays when most of us in Putnam County are preparing a meal with many more recipes, in larger quantities and with more cooks in the kitchen than usual!

Unfortunately, Thanksgiving Day also has the highest number of  home fires annually.  In 2013, Thanksgiving Day had 1,550 reported kitchen fires, which is  230% above the average number of fires per day. Keep these kitchen safety reminders in mind as you prepare your Thanksgiving feast!

“Be on time”

With so many things on your “to do” list, guests coming and going and multiple items cooking, be sure to set timers so that you don’t remember to take something out of the oven too late! (nobody likes their stuffing THAT dry!)

“Stand by Your Pan”

Have a designated cook in the kitchen at all times so that food is not left unattended. This is the most common source of kitchen fires. It only takes a moment for a kitchen fire to start and with a vigilant cook in the kitchen, catching it immediately is the key to avoiding the fire spreading.

“If you fry, don’t make it too high!”

The popularity of deep frying the turkey has soared (We at  SERVPRO of Putnam County haven’t gone this route because we are traditionalists but we hear it’s quite delicious!). An overfilled cooking pot will cause cooking oil to spill when the turkey is put in, and a partially frozen turkey will cause cooking oil to splatter when put in the pot. Even a small amount of cooking oil spilling on a hot burner can cause a large fire. Play it safe and fry your bird outside.

“For grease fires, water makes it go higher!”

Never attempt to extinguish a grease fire with water or a wet towel. Water will cause the flames to flare up and spread quickly. Turn off the stove and cover the fire with a lid if it is safe to do so, thereby removing the oxygen from reaching the fire. Use a fire extinguisher, which should be stored in a convenient kitchen location (not hidden under the kitchen sink!) If you do not have a fire extinguisher, baking soda is also effective at putting out grease fires however you do need to use quite a bit of it.

We wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving!