Well, believe it or not, another Thanksgiving is almost here. As you sit down with friends and family for the holiday, more than 50 volunteers from West Michigan will be making sure victims of Hurricane Sandy have a proper Thanksgiving dinner! They, along with other volunteers from all over the U.S., plan to hand out about 35,000 hot Thanksgiving meals to people in need.
We want to make sure you have an enjoyable – and safe! – holiday weekend here in West Michigan, so while you’re cooking up a storm please keep these safety tips in mind!
The cooks should start by not wearing loose clothing or dangling sleeves while cooking. Never leave cooking food unattended – stay in the kitchen when frying, grilling or broiling food. If someone must leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, they should turn off the stove. Other safety steps include:
- Check food regularly while cooking and remain in the home while cooking. Use a timer as a reminder that the stove or oven is on.
- Keep the kids away from the cooking area. Enforce a “kid-free zone” and make them stay at least three feet away from the stove.
- Keep anything that can catch fire – pot holders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, and towels or curtains—away from the stove, oven or any other appliance in the kitchen that generates heat.
- Clean cooking surfaces on a regular basis to prevent grease buildup.
- Purchase a fire extinguisher to keep in the kitchen. Contact the local fire department to take training on the proper use of extinguishers.
- Always check the kitchen before going to bed or leaving the home to make sure all stoves, ovens, and small appliances are turned off.
- Install a smoke alarm near the kitchen, on each level of the home, near sleeping areas, and inside and outside bedrooms. Use the test button to check it each month. Replace all batteries at least once a year.