9 holiday cooking safety tips

Staff report

The holiday season is here, and State Fire Marshal Larry L. Flowers wants to remind Ohioans of some safety tips that can help during this time of the year. Many of us will be cooking for family and guests, and Thanksgiving Day can increase the likelihood of such a fire.

“Cooking is the leading cause of all fires in Ohio and the United States, and the biggest problem is unattended cooking,” says State Fire Marshal Larry L. Flowers. “Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking. If no one is watching, things can get out of control fast.”

Marshal Flowers offers the following tips:

* Have a safety zone: keep children and pets three feet away from the stove and oven.

* Don’t overwhelm yourself. If you’re cooking multiple dishes, ask for help.

* Never hold a child or pet while cooking.

* Avoid wearing loose clothing or dangling sleeves while cooking.

* Keep potholders, oven mitts, towels and anything flammable away from your stovetop.

* Clean food and grease from burners and the stove top.

* If you must use a turkey fryer, keep it outside, away from buildings and other structures, such as garages, carports and decks. Never leave the turkey fryer unattended. The turkey should be thawed prior to frying. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

* Keep an ABC multi-purpose dry chemical fire extinguisher nearby. Never use water on a grease fire. Water and grease are a dangerous combination. Water can cause hot grease to splatter.

* If you are cooking and a fire starts, turn off the heat source, put a lid on it, and get out of your home!

In addition, Marshal Flowers encourages Ohioans to have a working smoke alarm installed on every level of the home and inside and outside of each bedroom or sleeping area. Each member of the household should know two ways out of your home and practice those fire escape plans twice a year. Guests should be aware of the escape plan and the location of any fire extinguishers in case there is an emergency.

Staff report