With Thanksgiving just around the corner, home chefs around Hawaii are
preoccupied with how to prepare the perfect bird – crispy on the
outside and moist on the inside – while still juggling a myriad
of holiday obligations and distractions (seeing the in-laws and playing
host to family and friends).
With so much going on in the kitchen and on the calendar, it's easy
to let things slip – a knife to the fingers or a burned palm from
a hot bird. But the most common Thanksgiving hazard – other than
watery mashed potatoes or a dry turkey – are home fires.
According to the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) cooking fires are
the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries, with an estimated
66 percent of home cooking fires beginning with food or other cooking
tools igniting. This year, prepare a delicious meal and have a safe, turkey-riffic
Thanksgiving with these tips:
Avoid using outdoor, gas-fueled turkey fryers.
These types of fryers – which require immersing the turkey, use a
substantial amount of cooking oil and at searing hot temperatures, create
a very real danger that the oil will splash or drip during the cooking
process. When used by consumers, these types of fryers can result in devastating
injuries as well as serious destruction of property. If you are intent
on having a deep-fried turkey, avoid these risks by taking advantage of
professional chefs, such as your local grocery store or restaurant.
Don't leave your stove unattended.
If you're cooking don't leave the kitchen – always turn off
the stove even when stepping out of the room for a brief period of time.
When preparing food check on it regularly and use a timer to keep you
in check on what you're cooking and when it needs to be removed from heat.
Remove flammable objects.
Move anything away from the stove that could potentially catch fire such
as cloth potholders, wooden utensils or food wrappers. When cooking, also
be sure to wear tighter-fitting clothing with short sleeves – long
sleeves or billowy clothing can easily catch fire when you are busy whisking
around the kitchen.
The Hawaii Fire Department strongly recommends that smoke detectors in
the home be tested monthly to be sure that they are operating correctly.
If a smoke detector requires batteries to operate they should be replaced annually.