Red Cross Offers Cooking Safety Tips for Thanksgiving Chefs

November 21, 2012

Announcements, Education, Food, Holidays

Cooking Leading Cause of Home Fires

Jackson, MS, November 21, 2012 — Thanksgiving is all about food and family – turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie and family time. However, preparing holiday goodies can lead to disaster — the kitchen is the setting of more fires than any other room in the house, and cooking is the leading cause of fires in the home. The American Red Cross has safety tips to use while preparing the Thanksgiving feast.

“We want folks to have a safe holiday,” said Sandra Hodge, Mississippi Red Cross CEO. “We have several tips they can follow to avoid ruining their holiday with a cooking fire.”

The cooks should start by not wearing loose clothing or dangling sleeves while cooking. Never leave cooking food unattended – stay in the kitchen when frying, grilling or broiling food. If someone must leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, they should turn off the stove. Other safety tips include:

  • Check food regularly and remain in the home while cooking. Use a timer as a reminder that the stove or oven is on.
  • Keep the kids away from the cooking area. Enforce a “kid-free zone” and make them stay at least three feet away from the stove.
  • Keep anything that can catch fire – pot holders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, and towels or curtains—away from the stove, oven or any other kitchen appliance that generates heat.
  • Clean cooking surfaces on a regular basis to prevent grease buildup.
  • Purchase a fire extinguisher to keep in the kitchen. Contact the local fire department to take training on the proper use of extinguishers.
  • Always check the kitchen before going to bed or leaving the home to make sure all stoves, ovens, and small appliances are turned off.
  • Install a smoke alarm near the kitchen, on each level of the home, near sleeping areas, and inside and outside bedrooms. Use the test button to check it each month. Replace all batteries at least once a year.

Another helpful step is to download the Red Cross First Aid app which puts expert advice for everyday emergencies in someone’s hand. Available for iPhone and Android devices, the official Red Cross First Aid app gives instant access to the information needed to handle the most common first aid emergencies. With videos, interactive quizzes and simple step-by-step advice it’s never been easier to know first aid.

House fires are the worst disaster threat to families in the United States. To learn how to prevent a fire in the home and how to keep household members safe, people can download the

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross Mississippi Region shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters, supports the supply of about 40 percent of the nation’s blood, teaches skills that save lives, provides international humanitarian aid and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit mississippi-redcross.org, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @RedCrossMiss.

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