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Letter from the Chief-Thanksgiving Cooking Safety

Monday, November 24, 2014

Dear Neighbors,

Thanksgiving is a day for families and friends to come together to share in each other's company, watch some football and enjoy a delicious feast. It's a day where we give thanks for everything we have and count our blessings; the health and safety of our loved ones being at the top of that list. It is with the continued well-being of all our families, friends and neighbors that we have compiled this list of safety tips.

.Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you must leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
.If you are simmering, baking, boiling, or roasting food, check it regularly, remain in the home while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that the stove or oven is on.
.Avoid wearing loose clothing or dangling sleeves while cooking.
.Keep kids away from cooking areas by enforcing a "kid-free zone" of three feet around the stove.
.Keep anything that can catch on fire-pot holders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, and towels or curtains-away from your stove top and oven or any other appliance in the kitchen that generates heat.

Both the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and Underwriters Laboratories (UL) discourage the use of turkey fryers due to the many dangerous conditions that they may create. If you must use a turkey fryer, follow these tips:

.Make sure it is outdoors and in an open area away from all walls, fences or other structures that could catch on fire and away from moisture that can cause serious burns from steam or splattering hot oil.
.Make sure your fryer is on a flat, hard surface like concrete. Never cook with your fryer on a wood deck.
.NEVER put a frozen turkey into a fryer!
.Keep in mind, the oil will be displaced once you put your turkey in the fryer. To avoid spillover, do not overfill the fryer.
.Keep an all-purpose fire extinguisher nearby. Never use water to extinguish a grease fire. If the fire is manageable, use your all-purpose fire extinguisher. If the fire increases, immediately call the fire department for help.

According to the NFPA, cooking is the leading cause of home fires on Thanksgiving Day and cooking fires nearly double on Thanksgiving Day, occurring more than twice as often than on another day. Thanksgiving Day home fires cause more property damage and claim more lives than home fires on other days. By remembering these easy tips, you can enjoy this Thanksgiving Day with your loved ones.

Have a Safe and Happy Thanksgiving!
Dan McConnell
Chief of Department




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