Health & Safety

November 21, 2012

Holiday cooking safety

The holiday season has arrived and it brings with it all those wonderful meals we share with friends and family. With the increase in cooking, the potential for cooking fires rises. Cooking fires can cause major damage to households and work spaces. If cooking fires are not extinguished quickly, the entire house may be ravaged by fire. A few easy tips can help to extinguish or limit fire damage.

The first and most important tip is this: Never leave cooking unattended.

Keep a metal lid present when cooking anything in oil or grease. If a pan catches fire, safely slide the lid from the side over the burning pan. After you have extinguished the fire, remove the pan from the heat source. Always make sure the fire is extinguished before moving the pan to limit spreading of fire. The next method is to use an ABC or BC dry chemical fire extinguisher. Covering the fire in baking soda also works but this can expose you to fire and increase your risk of injury, so it is not recommended.

Never, under any circumstances, put water on a grease fire. This will cause the fire to spread rapidly as water and grease do not mix.

If you plan to fry a turkey this year make sure to keep the fryer at least 25 feet from your house. Make sure to keep combustible materials away from the fryer. Fully defrost the turkey before placing it in the grease because water and grease is a volatile combination. Make sure to keep the area clear from people not involved in the cooking operation and keep an ABC fire extinguisher readily available.

If you are using an oven to prepare your holiday meal, the following tips will help you avoid or minimize oven fires. If a fire starts in an oven, immediately turn off the heat and shut the oven door to contain the fire. This will deprive the fire of oxygen and it will extinguish on its own. Do not open the oven door or remove anything until the oven has completely cooled. Opening the door while the oven is still hot could supply enough oxygen to reignite the fire.

If a fire occurs in your residence, always contact the fire department by dialing 911, even if the fire has already been extinguished. Be prepared for re-ignition because it commonly occurs.

If a cooking fire does occur and you can’t safely extinguish the fire always use a simple rule; “When in doubt get out.” Safety is always the number one priority when dealing with an emergency situation. Make sure to get everyone out before extinguishing a fire. A loss of personal property is a heavy burden, but a preventable loss of life is devastating.

If a fire extends to your clothing; stop, drop, cover your face, and roll until the fire is out. After the flames are extinguished, you should immediately cool the burn with cool water for three to five minutes and seek medical care.

For any questions regarding cooking safety or any tips on how to make your home safe from fire emergency, contact the Nellis Fire Department at 652-9630.




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