BALTIMORE – Millions of people will gather for Thanksgiving to enjoy time with loved ones and a delicious holiday dinner. With cooking being the number one cause of home fires, the American Red Cross recommends that everyone follow these fire safety steps:
1. Install a smoke alarm near your kitchen, on each level of your home, near sleeping areas, and inside and outside bedrooms if you sleep with doors closed. Use the test button to check it each month. Replace all batteries at least once a year if your smoke alarm requires it.
2. Do not wear loose clothing or sleeves that dangle while cooking.
3. If you are frying, grilling or broiling food, never leave it unattended – stay in the kitchen. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period, turn off the stove.
4. If you are simmering, baking, roasting or broiling food, check it regularly.
5. Use a timer to remind yourself that the stove or oven is on.
6. Keep kids and pets away from the cooking area. Make them stay at least three feet away from the stove.
7. Keep anything that can catch fire – potholders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, towels or curtains – away from your stove, oven or any other appliance in the kitchen that generates heat.
8. Clean cooking surfaces on a regular basis to prevent grease buildup.
9. Always check the kitchen before going to bed or leaving the home to make sure all stoves, ovens, and small appliances are turned off.
10. Consider purchasing a fire extinguisher to keep in your kitchen. Contact your local fire department to take training on the proper use of extinguishers.
The Red Cross First Aid App provides expert advice for common mishaps or emergencies including cuts, burns and what to do if someone is choking. Download the app for free in your app store or text GETFIRST to 90999.