3 Kitchen Fire Hazards to Avoid This Holiday Season
The holidays are a busy time in kitchens across Arizona. Even people who might not cook on a regular basis get excited about making large holiday dinners, like ham and turkey plus all the fixings for succulent feasts. Unfortunately, there are some hazards that go along with cooking in December, especially when you might not be as experienced in the kitchen. In fact, the National Fire Protection Association reports that there are three times as many kitchen fires over the holidays than any other time of the year. Here are three fire hazards to avoid this Christmas, Hanukah, and New Years.
1. Leaving the Kitchen
One of the most common rookie mistakes is leaving the kitchen while you cook. It's particularly easy to get lured into another room on a holiday because of all the extra activity in the house. Visiting nieces and nephews ask for help setting up the video game on the TV, first-time guests ask for parking instructions outside, your sister asking which bedroom she can use to change the baby... Meanwhile, the green bean casserole under the broiler is catching fire, or the sautéing onions are beginning to burn.
While you can't avoid being asked to tend to guests' needs in your home at a holiday party, you can enlist a kitchen helper, such a parent or uncle, to stay and monitor the cooking until you return to the kitchen. Your helper should be an adult who understands the reason all cooking food needs to be watched.
2. Leaving Flammables Too Close to the Range
It's very easy to forget and leave your oven mitt right next to where you're cooking. It only takes a second for a mitt or towel to cause a kitchen fire when it's too near the burner.
Keep anything flammable at least an arm's length away from the range to protect against flames as well as sparks.
3. Drinking to Excess
Cooking and drinking don't go together. If you've been drinking a little too much, you won't be able to safely use the stovetop or oven. Especially on special occasions when a lot of wine and alcohol is passed around, be sure to stay alert while cooking.
One way to limit alcohol consumption without feeling deprived is to have a glass of water in between every alcoholic drink.
Holiday parties are a great way to get together with relatives and friends over a home cooked meal. When you keep these three tips in mind for preventing a kitchen fire, you'll ensure that the day goes as smooth as gravy.