We can’t promise you that your apple pie will turn out perfectly or that your in-laws won’t drive you insane, but what we can promise you tips for a safe, fire-free holiday season. Between the abundance of food, hot surfaces, decorations and people, Thanksgiving can be a breeding ground for household fire hazards, so we’ve come up with 10 easy-to-remember fire safety tips to go along with everything you’ll already have on your mind!
The mashed potatoes. We would never suggest that you withhold mashed potatoes from your Thanksgiving meal! What we would suggest, however, is that you never leave the stove while your potatoes (or stove-top stuffing, cranberry sauce, or green beans) are cooking. It’s easy to get distracted with so many things simmering and sizzling and so many people milling around, but be sure to check that every eye is turned off before you leave the stove.
The pumpkin pie. Another Thanksgiving classic, and another common fire hazard. Make sure your pie is in an oven that isn’t overcrowded. Just like too many cooks in the kitchen can make you crazy, too many items in an oven can cause a fire. Be patient and give everything adequate time to cook without rushing and risking an unwanted flame.
The cookware. Did you know that some roasting pans are safer to use than others? If you’re sticking your bird in the oven, make sure the pan it rests in is sturdy enough to hold its weight, and has high enough walls to contain all its simmering juices. A pan that’s too flimsy or too short can make those juices bubble over, drip to the bottom of the oven, and catch fire.
The wine. Now, we understand that the holidays are a time to celebrate, and with that celebration often comes some adult beverages. Treat yourself with a glass (or two) while you’re prepping for and enjoying the holiday meal, but not so heavily that you forget to turn the oven off.
The house full of guests. If you’re lucky enough to open up your home to friends and family, not only are you responsible for their bellies, but you’re responsible for their safety. Check every smoke detector in the house before your guests arrive, especially those in the kitchen and bedrooms.
The candles. There’s nothing quite like holiday candles, whether they’re the giant cinnamon scented variety in glass jars, or the delicate decorative votives that complete your autumnal tablescape. Whether you’re using them to make the house smell like gingerbread or to add a soft light to the dinner table, be mindful of where you put them (away from hanging fabric like curtains and out of reach of small children) and how long they burn.
The kids’ table. We know, you couldn’t be more thrilled to have your nieces and nephews over for Thanksgiving. But if your holiday is going to include youngin’s, make sure they’re under supervision during the cooking portion of the day. You don’t want little fingers going anywhere near the gas stove or getting underfoot while you’re carrying a piping hot pan to the table.
The fire. The arrival of Thanksgiving means the holidays are officially upon is—which means it’s time to cozy up by the fire. Whether you’re roasting marshmallows over an outdoor fire or enjoying a cup of hot cider next to the fireplace, don’t forget your basic safety rules. Keep a bucket of water next to the fire at all times, never leave the fire unattended, and make sure the fire is completely out before calling it a night.
The food coma. Arguably the best part of Thanksgiving is the nap you get once everything is cleaned up. But before you curl up on the couch, make sure the fryer, oven and stove are turned off and the candles are blown out. And most importantly, rest up so you have the energy to heat up a plate of leftovers in a few hours.
- The turkey. Deep-frying has been getting increasingly popular when it comes to prepping the gobbler on Thanksgiving day. The NFPA discourages the use of outdoor gas-fueled fryers on Turkey Day, but if you insist on achieving that perfect crispy skin, keep a few things in mind:
- Always, always fry your turkey outside.
- Avoid using the fryer in rain or snow because the oil may splatter or turn to steam, which can lead to burns.
- Thaw your turkey completely before lowering it into the fryer.
- Take extreme caution when lowering the turkey into and removing it from the cooking oil. Dropping the bird can cause an oil splatter and severe burns.
From all of us at Harrington Group, have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!