NEW HAVEN, CONN. (WTNH)- Believe it or not, cooking is the number one cause of house fires. If you are cooking over the holiday season The American Red Cross has some tips on how to keep you and your family safe. Stefanie Arcangelo with the American Red Cross said, “The Red Cross wants everyone to be safe this holiday season so make sure that you have working smoke alarms in your home. We know that working smoke alarms hep to reduce the risk of injury and deaths due to home fire.”
Make sure you have a working smoke alarm right off the kitchen. Arcangelo said, In addition you want to make sure you have a fire extinguisher readily available near you kitchen so in the event you need to put out a quick grease fire or something like that you have that available.” If you need to leave the room turn off the stove and the oven.
“You never want to leave the room. When you are sauteing. When you are frying things in a pan you do not want to leave the area,” added Arcangelo. In the chaos of creating the feast, keep flammable objects away from stoves and cook tops. Arcangelo said, “You want to make sure you have plastic bags, paper bags, oven mitts, pot holders. Anything that can catch fire away from your stove or oven.”
Putting something in the oven? Set a timer. And don’t leave pots unattended and avoid loose clothing or sleeves if you’re the chef. Arcangelo added, “You don’t want to have any loose clothing or sleeves that are dangling. you want to make sure what you’re wearing is not going to be able to catch fire. Wipe down the kitchen counters before and after you cook. Arcangelo said, “Check your oven. If it’s self cleaning you want to go ahead and clean that on a regular basis.. It’s really important because grease fire can start and when a grease fire starts it starts very quickly and can spread rapidly.”
Keep small kids and your furry friends away from the cooking area. Arcangelo said, “Three feet is a really good rule and that’s really for their safety. You never know what might happen. You might have some butter that spills in that oven smokes going to come out. You don’t want your kids anywhere near that.” Before you go to bed check you kitchen one last time to make sure all the appliances are off.