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10 Tips for a Safe Thanksgiving

By Ray Price
Director of Safety, Southcoast Hospitals Group

Let's be honest about it: The holiday season isn't just about family get-togethers and renewing old acquaintances.

This time of year is for cooking and eating wonderful things, such as the turkey feast with all the trimmings that is the focal point of the Thanksgiving holiday.

And while we should be looking forward to sharing the holiday meal with our families, we should remember to be extra careful as nearly 50 percent of all house fires across the U.S. start in the kitchen.

Care should always be taken while working in the kitchen, but we should be extra vigilant around the holidays.

Preparing the Thanksgiving meal often is a group project, with many people in the kitchen to help with the chores. And where there's a crowd and noisy chatter, there's a greater chance for an accident to occur.

In an effort to ensure a happy and safe turkey day, we offer the following kitchen safety tips:

  1. Make sure your cooking appliances are in good working order.

  2. Start your holiday cooking with a clean stove and oven, making sure old grease or food spills are cleaned up to lessen the chance of a flare-up.

  3. Keep kitchen clutter and loose clothing away from stove burners.

  4. Turn pot handles in toward the rear of the stove, out of your child's reach. If the handles are allowed to stick out over the stove, they could be grabbed by a child, spilling their contents and causing burns.

  5. Never leave cooking food unattended.

  6. If the contents in a pot or pan catch fire, do not touch or try to move the pot or pan as you may spread the fire or burn yourself. Extinguish the flames with a metal lid or larger pot.

  7. Never use water on a grease fire. Extinguish the flames with a metal lid or larger pot.

  8. Use pot holders to prevent burns. If you are burned, do not use ice, butter or other substances on the burn. Ice can damage the skin, and butter or other substances can trap the heat in. Instead, let the burn cool off under a steady stream of cool tap water and seek medical assistance if necessary.

  9. Keep holiday decorations away from heat sources such as stoves, candles or heaters.

  10. In the event of a fire or medical emergency, always call 911.

Have a safe holiday!

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