Thanksgiving is a great day. The food preparation starts early in the morning in a flurry of kitchen activity. This is followed by a few hours of relative calm usually filled with beer and college football while the dinner cooks. This second, less productive period of the day is then interrupted when the meal is almost done. The flurry returns to the kitchen and spills over into the dining room as the eating commences.
For some people however Thanksgiving can be disastrous. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, there are twice as many home cooking fires on Thanksgiving than on an average day. In the flurry of Thanksgiving cooking madness, it is easier to get distracted, and this distraction leads to more fires.
A few things you can do to stay safe this Thanksgiving include:
• Pay more attention to the cooking than the football game.
• Make sure you turn off the burners if you leave the kitchen.
• Keep combustible materials like food wrappers at least 3 feet from open flames.
• Avoid loose fitting long-sleeved clothing which can accidentally catch a pot or pan handle.
• Keep pot and pan handles turned inward, particularly if you have children running around.
As always, have at least one working smoke alarm in your home and a fire extinguisher readily available. Oh, and make sure you have a comfortable place to crash when the tryptophan kicks in.
Andrew Peterson is a Certified Industrial Hygienist with over 10 years of experience working in the environmental and occupational health field. In addition to writing, he is currently the Environment, Health and Safety Manager for a medium-sized company that has been voted one of Fortune Magazine’s Best Places to Work and one of CRO Magazine’s 100 Best Corporate Citizens. He lives in California with his wife and adopted pound puppies.