by Bay Village Fire Chief Christopher Lyons
Cooking is the leading cause of fires across Ohio and the United States. During Thanksgiving, the majority of families will be engaged in some sort of cooking, which increases the possibility of such a fire. With that in mind, I would like to review some of the potential dangers linked to cooking fires.
One problem area to remember is unattended cooking. When no one is watching, things can get out of control fast. Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking – frying, grilling, broiling, boiling, toasting, etc. And if you are roasting or baking, please check in regularly, use a timer, and never leave the house while a cooking device is on.
Here are some tips to reduce the 65% of holiday fires that occur related to cooking:
* Have a safety zone: keep children and pets three feet away from the stove and oven.
* Never hold a child or pet while cooking.
* Avoid wearing loose-fitting clothing or dangling sleeves while cooking.
* Keep potholders, oven mitts, towels, and anything flammable away from your stove-top.
* Never use an oven or other cooking device for storage.
* Clean food and grease (both are flammable) from burners and the stove top.
* Keep an ABC multi-purpose dry chemical fire extinguisher nearby. Never use water on a grease fire. Water and grease are a dangerous combination. Water can cause hot grease to splatter.
* If you are cooking and a fire starts, turn off the heat source, put a lid on it, and Get Out!
* If you must use a turkey fryer, keep it outside, away from buildings and other structures, such as garages, carports and decks. Never leave the turkey fryer unattended. The turkey should be thawed prior to frying. Always follow manufacturer’s instructions, and keep a K-Class fire extinguisher nearby.
In addition, I encourage every family to have a working Photoelectric smoke detector installed on every level of the home and in each bedroom or sleeping area. Each member of the household should know the home fire escape plan and practice it twice a year. Guests should be aware of the escape plan and the location of any fire extinguishers in case there is an emergency.
Thanks to all our residents for making Bay Village a wonderful and safe community, and I wish each of you a very Happy Thanksgiving!