Zero Accidents

Staying Safe This Thanksgiving

By Jim Ruggiero, CSHS, CHST • November 23, 2021 • 3 MIN READ

The kitchen is the heart of the home, especially during Thanksgiving when there is increased activity and people. Thanksgiving is the leading day of the year for home fires involving cooking equipment. Director of Safety & Health Jim Ruggiero provides some essential safety tips for keeping the house and all of those involved safe.

Turkey Safety Tips:

  • Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stovetop so you can keep an eye on the food.
  • Stay in the home when cooking your turkey and check on it frequently.
  • Keep the floor clear so you don’t trip over kids, toys, pocketbooks, or bags.
  • Make sure your smoke alarms are working. Test them by pushing the test button.
  • Turkey fryers can easily tip over, spilling hot cooking oil over a large area.
  • An overfilled cooking pot will cause cooking oil to spill when the turkey is put in, and a partially frozen turkey will cause cooking oil to splatter when put in the pot. 
  • Even a small amount of cooking oil spilling on a hot burner can cause a large fire. 
  • Without temperature controls, deep fryers can overheat oil to the point of starting a fire. 
  • The sides of the cooking pot, lid, and pot handles can get dangerously hot.

Child Safety Tips:

  • Keep children away from the stove. The stove will be hot and they should stay 3 feet away.
  • Make sure they stay away from hot food and liquids. The steam or splash from vegetables, gravy, or coffee could cause serious burns.
  • Keep knives out of reach.
  • Be sure electric cords from an electric knife, coffee maker, plate warmer, or mixer are not dangling off the counter within easy reach.
  • Keep matches and utility lighters out of the reach of children – up high in a locked cabinet.
  • Never leave children alone in room with a lit candle.
  • Have activities that keep children out of the kitchen during this busy time. Games, puzzles, or books can keep them occupied. Get them involved in Thanksgiving preparations with recipes that can be done outside the kitchen.