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Monday, November 23, 2015

Connecticut officials urge caution in prepping Thanksgiving meals

 
The following news release is posted as a public service, unedited here:
 
 
"THANKSGIVING IS PEAK DAY FOR HOME COOKING FIRES"
 
The Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP)/Commission on Fire Prevention and Control is urging the public to keep fire safety in mind when preparing meals this holiday season.
 
“There are more cooking fires in November than in any other month, with Thanksgiving being the peak day with roughly three times the average number of fires than any other day,” said DESPP Commissioner Dora B. Schriro. “Recognizing the risk can greatly reduce the chance of a home cooking fire.  It can keep you and your loved ones safe and sound.”
 
“On behalf of firefighters across Connecticut, I am urging all residents to be conscious of fire safety this Thanksgiving and throughout the holiday season,” said State Fire Administrator Jeff Morrissette.  “As you gather with family and friends, please remember to use caution when preparing special holiday meals.”
 
To reduce the risk of cooking fires this holiday season, DESPP recommends the following safety tips:
 
  • Keep anything that can catch fire such as oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels and curtains away from the stovetop.
 
  • Inspect any electric fry pans, pots or other accessories such as electric knives and handheld whisks for frayed cords and bad connections before using them. Do not submerge electric appliances in water.  
  • Always remain in the kitchen while frying, grilling, or broiling food.  If you have to leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
  • When simmering, baking, roasting or boiling food, check the pots and pans regularly, remain in the home while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you when it is time to turn down or turn off the burner or oven.
  • Stay alert.  If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol, do not use the stove or any cooking appliance or accessory.  
If you have a cooking fire:
 
  • Keep a lid nearby when cooking to smother a small grease fire. Smother the fire by sliding the lid over the pan and turn off the stovetop.  Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.
  • For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed. 
  • If unable to control….Ensure all occupants get out of the house immediately!  When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire.  
  • Call 9-1-1 as soon as you evacuate.
 
DESPP also discourages the use of turkey fryers, a popular cooking method on Thanksgiving. The use of turkey fryers can lead to devastating burns and other injuries, and the destruction of property due to the large amount and high temperature of oil used. DESPP urges those who prefer fried turkey to look for grocery stores, specialty food retailers and restaurants that sell deep fried turkeys. Find more information about the dangers of turkey fryers on National Fire Prevention Association’s (NFPA) cooking equipment safety webpage.
 

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