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Stay safe when cooking for Thanksgiving

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With an increase of public education and community awareness, Mesa Fire and Medical Department officials say they have not seen a surge nor have responded to grease fires resulting from turkey fryers during the Thanksgiving holiday over the past several years.

They did offer the following information and tips:

  • Cooking fires are the leading cause of residential fires. According to the National Fire Protection Association (based on 2009-2013 annual averages):
    1. Two-thirds (66%) of home cooking fires started with the ignition of food or other cooking materials.
    2. Clothing was the item first ignited in less than 1% of these fires, but these incidents accounted for 18% of the cooking fire deaths.
    3. Ranges accounted for the largest share (61%) of home cooking fire incidents. Ovens accounted for 16%.
    4. More than half (54%) of reported non-fatal home cooking fire injuries occurred when the victims tried to fight the fire themselves.
  • Some tips include:
    1. Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stovetop so you can keep an eye on the food. Many of these fires are as a result of unattended cooking.
    2. Stay in the home when cooking your turkey and check on it frequently.
    3. Keep children away from the stove. The stove will be hot and kids should stay 3 feet away.
    4. Make sure kids stay away from hot food and liquids. The steam or splash from vegetables, gravy or coffee could cause serious burns.

Visuals

  1. Cooking fire VOs.
  2. SOTs with Mesa Fire and Medical Department representatives about cooking safety and how to stay safe in the kitchen.
    1. Also, an emphasis on the importance of working smoke alarms in providing a warning to escape a fire.
    2. In addition, know how and when it is appropriate to use a fire extinguisher.

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