Gloucester Fire Department Offers Cooking Safety Tips for the Holiday Season

Chief Eric Smith and the Gloucester Fire Department wish to share safety tips with community members planning to cook, bake and enjoy holiday meals over the coming days and weeks.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), Thanksgiving and Christmas are peak days for home cooking fires, followed by the day before Thanksgiving and Easter, and Christmas Eve. A 2020 report also identified unattended cooking as the leading cause of cooking fires and casualties.
To prevent cooking fires and injuries this holiday season, the Gloucester Fire Department encourages residents to review the following tips from the NFPA:
  • Never leave anything cooking unattended.
  • Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking so you can keep an eye on the food. Check on cooking turkeys frequently.
  • Keep anything that can catch fire away from your stovetop.
  • If a small grease fire starts in a pan, smother the flames by carefully sliding the lid over the pan. Turn off the burner and do not move the pan. To keep the fire from restarting, leave the lid on until the pan is completely cool.
  • If a fire starts in the oven, turn off the oven and leave the door closed. The oven should be checked and/or serviced before being used again.
  • Keep children and pets at least 3 feet away from the stove.
  • Make sure kids stay away from hot food and liquids. The steam or splash from vegetables, gravy, coffee and other food and drink could cause serious burns.
  • Keep knives out of the reach of children.
  • Be sure electric cords from an electric knife, coffee maker, plate warmer or mixer are not dangling off the counter within easy reach of a child.
  • Keep matches and utility lighters out of the reach of children. They should be kept up high in a locked cabinet.
  • Keep the kitchen and dining room floor clear so you don’t trip over kids, toys, bags or other items while cooking or handling food.
  • Test your smoke alarms and make sure the batteries are replaced if needed.
Additionally, the NFPA discourages the use of deep fryers for cooking turkeys, but those who do use one should do so on a flat surface outdoors and at least 10 feet away from structures, including porches. Turkeys should be completely thawed and dried before being placed in a deep fryer to avoid flare-ups.
For questions about cooking safety, please contact the Gloucester Fire Department at (978) 325-5300.
The Gloucester Fire Department wishes everyone a happy, healthy and safe holiday season.

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