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2020 has been an unprecedented year for the world. From the cancellation of major events to the adjustments of daily routines across the planet, most things do not look the same as they did a year ago. And, as the COVID-19 pandemic rages on, this special time of year we’re now entering is poised to look very different as well. While the holidays won’t be the same for most of us this year, one thing that will likely stay the same is the tradition of cooking special holiday meals at home.

However, as reported by the National Fire Protection Association, these holiday meals typically result in the greatest number of home cooking fires seen during the year. So, in the excitement of participating in this tradition, we can still celebrate even though we’re apart, we want to help you stay safe so you can have the happiest of holidays possible. Below, check out some excellent holiday cooking safety tips from Johns Hopkins Medicine to make sure a cooking fire doesn’t become an unscheduled part of your holiday plans:

Holiday Cooking Safety
  • Keep flammable items away from the stovetop, including oven mitts, potholders, food packaging, and dishtowels. Avoid wearing loose clothing, which could catch fire on burners.

  • Do not leave cooking unattended. When using the stovetop, stay in the kitchen so you can keep an eye on the food. If you have something in the oven, check on it frequently; set a timer as a reminder.

  • Keep the floor clear of any tripping hazards, such as bags or toys. Pets should be kept in another room where they won’t risk getting underfoot.

  • It’s important to be alert while cooking on the stove, so if you’re tired or have consumed alcohol, it may be best to let someone else take over.

  • Exercise caution when handling hot liquids and foods, as steam or splashes can cause serious burns, as well as the trays, pans, and serving dishes they are in.

  • When it is time to set the table, place hot liquids and foods in the center of the table, where they are less likely to be knocked over.

  • To avoid any accidental burns or scalds, children should stay at least 3 feet away from the stove. Keep them entertained — and out of the kitchen — by setting up activities such as games, puzzles, or books in another room.

Treating Burns and Putting out Cooking Fires

Even if you follow the above tips, there is still a chance a burn or fire may occur as you prepare and serve your holiday meal. Know what to do in the event an accident happens with these instructions:

  • Should you experience a painful burn, contact your doctor, or go to the emergency room for care.

  • Should a small fire ignite, follow these safety guidelines:

  • Do not pour water on it. Water can cause oil to splash, which can not only hurt you but also spread the fire.

  • Slide a lid over the pan to smother the fire and turn off the stovetop, leaving the pan covered until it has completely cooled; alternatively, baking soda can also be used to extinguish small grease fires.

  • If there is an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the oven door closed.

  • In the event of a larger fire with extensive smoke heat that is rapidly spreading, get out! Leave the kitchen and close the door behind you to contain the flames. Once you are safe, call 911 or a local emergency number.

Preventing Cooking Fires with FireAvert

If you would like to prevent cooking fires from happening before they start, consider investing in a FireAvert for your holiday cooking this year! By cutting the power to your stove when a smoke alarm sounds, FireAvert prevents dangerous cooking fires from ever starting and keeps you and your loved ones safe. We’d love to speak with you about our product if you have any questions!

We hope you all have a wonderful and safe holiday season this year. Even in 2020, we still have so much to be grateful for, and we wish you all the best!