Holiday Kitchen Safety
HOW TO SURVIVE ANOTHER HOLIDAY...IN THE KITCHEN
Cooking a holiday dinner at home? You must be extra careful. The sheer scope of the holiday feast can put unusual strains on the chef and the kitchen alike. And, in the final hours you will have to contend with all the helpful -assistant cooks - your family can produce; and you'll have to keep them safe as well.
Here are a few ground rules for a fire safe holiday. Declare the kitchen off limits to young children, and even adults who aren't preparing food. Fewer people mean fewer chances for spills and burns.
Always cook with pot handles turned inward, and with appliance cords safely out of the way. Protruding handles and dangling cords are too easily pulled or jostled, spilling scalding liquids on people and furniture.
If you're dressing up for dinner, plan to run upstairs and change just before you serve. Frilly blouses and drooping sleeves have no place in a working kitchen; they invite clothing fires. Roll up your sleeves and don an apron for added safety.
Take extra care to use potholders when carrying hot vessels. Never run across the kitchen with hot items.
Don't risk burning your fingers or spilling hot foods.
Use your potholders. In a kitchen full of relatives, be extra cautious. If you should be bumped or tripped, it could ruin the holiday.
If a pan should catch fire on the stove, put a lid on it. You can also use a cutting board to cover the pan. This takes the air away from the fire and puts it out. With some baking soda, you can make a soda shaker from a coffee can with holes punched in it. You have just made a low cost, low-pressure fire extinguisher just perfect for the kitchen. All you have to do is shake the baking soda over the fire and blanket it, smothering the fire. Remember: Do not use water on a grease fire!
By using your common sense and a few precautions, you can prevent a tragedy in your home. Please, don't include us in your holiday plans!
Public Affairs and Life Safety Education Section
Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department
4100 Chain Bridge Road Fairfax, VA 22030
703-246-3801 or TTY 711