Accidents always seem to happen more often during the hustle and bustle of the holiday seasons, and this Thanksgiving will likely be no different. As families attempt new recipes, engage in discussion, and fight over football games, people may forget the dangers of kitchen accidents.
According to State Farm Insurance, more fires occur on Thanksgiving Day than any other day of the year, and the top three states with the most claims are Texas, Illinois, and Ohio. Burn injury attorneys at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm warn of the dangers of cooking fires to your home and family, and offer this list of safety precautions to help protect you.
As family members young and old get together to celebrate the holiday, it is important to remember kitchen safety, even in the midst of hectic preparations. The National Fire Protection Association suggests having a ‘kid-free zone’ in the kitchen, at least three feet around the stove and areas where hot food or drink is prepared or carried. Small children may accidentally pick up and spill a cup of hot coffee, or be splashed by boiling water while crawling on the kitchen floor. Keep electric cords, knives, and matches, lighters and candles out of the reach of children as well. The NFPA also suggests having various activities for children to engage in while the cooking is being done, such as puzzles or games; this will keep the children both safe and content.
The most dangerous potential site for fires is, overwhelmingly, turkey fryers. Even celebrities are subject to the harsh realities of turkey fryer devastation. In 2011, State Farm released a video with William Shatner entitled ‘Eat, Fry, Love: A Cautionary Tale‘ in which he dramatized the true story of his own turkey fryer burn injuries. In the video, Shatner recalls his love for fried turkey and the immense danger of mixing hot oil, steam, and flame. His public service announcement literally helped save lives: that year, State Farm’s grease and cooking related fire claims were cut in half, the lowest numbers in a decade. The average property loss from deep fryer accidents is $14,500, which is almost three times the average of general cooking fires.
Pay close attention to the owner’s manual when using turkey fryers
– don’t use too much oil, cook outdoors, don’t try a
frozen turkey or use ice or water, and never leave the fryer unattended.
Hot oil splatter can cause serious, third degree burns in adults and children
especially, which could result in hospitalization, skin-grafts, and life-threatening
If you do experience a cooking fire of any kind, leave the house immediately, and close all doors behind you. If it is a grease fire, smother the fire by sliding a cooking lid over the pan, turn off the stovetop, and leave it covered until it has completely cooled. If it is an oven fire, turn off the oven and keep the door closed, so the flamed do not ignite any surrounding material. Most fires in the home originate from the stovetop, and the leading cause is leaving cooking food unattended. So make sure there are no flammable objects, such as oven mitts or paper towels, around the stove top, and if you must leave the kitchen, even for a short period of time, turn off all heat.
Above all, make sure your smoke detectors are working. Damage to your home will increase exponentially if the fire department is not notified immediately.
The holiday season brings families together, and provides comfort and security. Many Americans look forward to Thanksgiving dinner all year, and should take all precautions to ensure the celebration is truly something to be thankful for. Burn injury lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm wish you a cheerful and safe Thanksgiving.