BRIDGEWATER — With Thanksgiving tomorrow, Chief Thomas Levy and the Bridgewater Fire Department would like to remind residents of several important cooking safety tips.
The National Fire Protection Association reports that Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires followed by Christmas Day, Christmas Eve and the day before Thanksgiving.
The NFPA found that unattended cooking was the leading contributing factor in cooking fires and fire deaths. Cooking equipment was involved in almost half of all reported home fires and home fire injuries, and it is the second leading cause of home fire deaths.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, fire departments in the United States are dispatched to approximately 166,100 fires annually involving cooking equipment, such as a stove or microwave.
“With all of the commotion going on during Thanksgiving celebrations, we encourage parents to keep an eye on their kids,” Chief Levy said. “Kids should be kept away from hot cooking appliances and hot food or dishes that could cause burns.”
To avoid tragedy this season, the Bridgewater Fire Department recommends residents follow several safety tips outlined by the Massachusetts Department of Fire Services:
- Never leave food, grease or oils cooking on the stove top without supervision.
- In the event of a grease fire, smother flames with a lid then turn off the heat. Putting baking soda over the fire will also work.
- Do not move a burning pan because it can cause the fire to spread.
- Do not throw water or use a fire extinguisher on a grease fire, as water will spread the fire and the extinguisher could splash flaming grease.
- Do not wear loose or long sleeves when cooking, as it can catch fire.
- Do not store or use flammable objects, such as pot holders, towels, paper or plastic bags, near heating elements.
- If a fire starts in an oven or microwave, close the door, turn the appliance off and immediately call the fire department.
- Do not put metal inside a microwave.
- Unplug appliances such as toasters and coffee makers when you are not using them.
- Do not store items in an oven.
- Stop, drop and roll if your clothing catches fire. Run burns under cool water and call 9-1-1 for help.
- Keep children and pets three feet away from the stove.
- Make sure all smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are working prior to the holiday.
Additionally, the NFPA discourages the use of turkey fryers, as the amount and high temperature of the oil used can cause serious burns and injuries, and result in the destruction of property.
Residents who would like more information on holiday cooking safety should contact the Bridgewater Fire Department at 508-697-0900.