Are you excited about the holidays? What part excites you the most? If you are like most people you will say the family, gifts, and fun but we all know that one of our most favorite portions of the holiday season is undoubtedly the food! Everyone is in the kitchen during this time and if you are not personally in the kitchen you know someone who will be. That is why it is imperative to prepare yourselves and your loved ones for the prevention of kitchen fires.
Sixty-five percent of home fire deaths occur in homes with no working smoke alarms. During a home fire, working smoke alarms and a fire escape plan that has been practiced regularly can save lives.
We all love our family members and want to keep the holiday spirit in the atmosphere at our homes; the last thing we want to worry about is a fire that can ruin the place we call home but also damage the holiday season for other people.
There are four basic and quick steps that you can do when cooking:
1. Stay in the kitchen when frying, grilling or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove, stay in the house while simmering, baking, roasting or boiling food.
2. Check it regularly and use a timer to remind you that food is cooking. (We all get distracted sometimes by our favorite shows or long telephone conversations).
3. Keep anything that can catch fire like pot holders, towels, plastic and clothing away from the stove.
4. Keep pets off cooking surfaces and countertops to prevent them from knocking things onto the burner.
These small steps seem easy to remember but we all can practice things more than once for the safety of ourselves and our loved ones. After all it is easier to attempt to practice these steps repeatedly than to disregard them and destroy the holiday season. Besides, good food is waiting on us so let’s make it a delicious and safe holiday season by cooking with caution!
Happy Holidays from the American Red Cross, Central Valley Chapter!