More kitchen fires happen on Thanksgiving Day than any other day of the year, say leaders at American Medical Response (AMR) and Jackson Fire Department (JFD). JFD deputy fire chief Cleotha Sanders, Jr. and AMR operations manager Steve Peacock list 10 tips to prevent kitchen fires:
- Keep a Class K fire extinguisher handy in the kitchen. Class K extinguishers are made exclusively to put out fires involving cooking oil, grease and fat. For many other kinds of fires, Sanders and Peacock recommend putting a Class ABC extinguisher near the Class K.
- Know how to use the extinguishers. Learn online by searching for “PASS fire.”
- Be sure children stay three feet or more from hot appliances.
- Lock pets from the kitchen with a gate or put them in another room. They can be distracting and cause falls.
- Move cloth towels and mitts at least three feet from heat sources. It’s smart to use silicone mitts.
- Never leave the kitchen while the stove is on.
- Set a timer for each dish. Digital assistants such as Siri and Alexa can track times for multiple dishes.
- Cooks should wear short-sleeved or close-fitting shirts.
- Keep the lids for pots and pans handy. A lid can smother many small fires quickly. If a pot or pan has no lid, keep a cookie sheet close by.
- When you’re not holding the handle of pot or pan, turn the handle toward the back of the stove.
Peacock, a paramedic, said, “Cool burned skin with running water. Remove jewelry and burned clothing. Do not put ice on burns. After the burn is cooled, wrap it loosely in a clean bandage. If the burn is larger than the burned person’s handprint or penetrates more than one layer of skin, call 911 immediately.”
Chief Sanders said, “Staying safety-minded throughout the holidays will reduce the risk of a tragedy.”