5 Key Cooking Tips for a Fire Safe Thanksgiving

Friday, October 11, 2013

Cooking tips for a safe thanksgivingAs statistics indicate, Canadians are wild about turkey. According to data from Turkey Farmers of Canada, the average person in Canada consumes 4.5 kilograms of turkey per year, which translates to an estimated 150 million kg for Canadians at large. Additionally, in 2008, nearly 10 million whole turkeys were consumed among the country's households. And on Thanksgiving day alone, close to 3 million were purchased - roughly 28 percent of all the turkeys that were sold in the entire year.

That being said, as tasty and delicious as turkey may be, it takes a long time for it to cook properly, the time depending on how large the bird is. As a general rule, for every six to eight pounds of bird, it takes between three and three-and-a-half hours. Because of this lengthiness, it's easy to lose track of time, especially when lots of people are around for the holiday.

However, it's vitally important to keep a constant eye on the turkey and everything else that's cooking in order to avoid a potential home insurance claim resulting from a cooking fire.

According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, home fires account for roughly 30 percent of all the fires that occur each year in the country. Additionally, 73 percent of all the fatalities that take place as a result of fires are home-based, typically starting in the kitchen while cooking.

"The winter season is the worst season for fires in Canada and many of these tragedies can been avoided," said Ralph Palumbo, vice president of IBC. "Canadians should be informed of the simple measures that can be taken to prevent a devastating fire from occurring in their homes."

Perhaps the reason why kitchen fires are so deadly stems from how quickly they can spread. IBC noted that the most destructive of them all are those in which cooking oil is used, as grease is a fire accelerant.

The following tips should help homeowners and renters have a safe Thanksgiving that's void of any fire-related incidents:

  • Place covers over pots and pans. When water or any type of liquid is being cooked over a hot burner, it can splatter or bubble over, igniting the flame below. Make sure you place a lid over these openings. Should there be a fire, they can also be used to smother it, robbing it if the oxygen it needs to grow.

  • Stay in the kitchen at all times. As tempting as it may be, it's important to maintain a constant presence in the kitchen if burners are on or something is in the oven. Fires can happen quickly and require awareness so that they can be doused promptly.

  • Always wear oven mitts. Even lightly touching a hot pan can cause serious scalding. Whenever removing pots and pans from burners or something that's in the oven, be sure you're wearing the proper hand protection, such as a glove or pot holder.

  • Clean the oven. When's the last time the oven has been cleaned? If it's been more than a few months, it's high time to give it a good scrubbing in order to remove excess grease that can cause flames to ignite.

  • Keep pot handles turned in. When there are a lot of cooks in the kitchen, someone may accidentally bump into a pot handle if it's handing over the stove's edge. Be sure you turn the handles inward so they're not overturned and so young children can't grab them.

Happy Thanksgiving!