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This Thanksgiving, Safety First

Wednesday, November 25, 2009, 14:30 EST Leave a comment Go to comments

Not the offending dish towelAs a member of my company’s safety team, I received an email from our corporate Workplace Safety Engineer (yes, that’s his real title) with the following common sense safety reminders for those who will be cooking the family dinner tomorrow. I can personally attest to the importance of the second bullet point. A few Thanksgivings ago at my parents’ house, my brother used a dish towel as a pot holder to take something off the gas stove, and the edge of the dish towel caught fire. In his panic to get rid of the burning dish towel, he threw it at me. The incident has come to be known as The Thanksgiving When Cliff Tried to Kill Me.

Be aware of the dangers in your midst! And have a safe and happy Thanksgiving!


Cooking is the number one cause of home fires, and the biggest reason is that people start to cook something on the stove and forget it’s there. Distractions are highest during the busy holiday season when the kitchen often becomes the gathering place for visiting family and friends. The Home Safety Council is urging families to practice safe cooking habits to prevent injuries while preparing and enjoying holiday meals.

Follow the Home Safety Council’s simple tips to make sure your favorite holiday meals dont go up in flames this season:

  • Always stay in the kitchen while cooking on the range, especially when frying food.
  • Keep things that can burn, such as dish towels, paper or plastic bags, and curtains at least three feet away from the range top.
  • Keep your cooking area clean. Do not let grease build up on the range top, toaster oven, or in the oven.
  • Keep children and pets away from the range when anyone is cooking, and keep a close eye on them at all times. Put tape on the floor three feet around the stove to create a “kid-free” zone. Teach children to stay away from the stove.
  • Before you start to cook, roll up sleeves and use oven mitts. Loose-fitting clothes can touch a hot burner and catch on fire.
  • If clothes do catch fire, “Stop, Drop, Roll, and Cool” by dropping immediately to the ground, crossing hands over your chest, and rolling over and over or back and forth to put out the flames. Cool the burned area with cool water right away and seek medical attention for serious burns.
  • If you can, cook on the back burners.
  • Always turn pot handles toward the back of the range to prevent small children from reaching and pulling down a hot pan.
  • Keep pans, hot drinks, and trays that have just come out of the oven away from the edge of counters and tables where children cannot touch them.

For a complete list of cooking safety tips, visit http://www.homesafetycouncil.org/.

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Categories: family, health/safety, holidays
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