Kitchen safety

Grand Traverse Metro Fire shares kitchen safety tips

The kitchen is the leading cause of home fires and fire injuries. Anyone can prevent cooking fires by following a few simple safety steps.

The Grand Traverse Metro Fire Department sees at least one turkey fryer fire every Thanksgiving. Jennifer Froehlich, fire and life safety educator at Grand Traverse Metro, has some tips on how to protect the bird and not burn it.

“Thanksgiving is the number one day of residential kitchen fires in the United States,” says Froehlich. “Which is not surprising since everyone is cooking and in the kitchen and are equally distracted.”

Having other people in the kitchen can be a distraction and a danger. Froehlich suggests watching and sticking to whatever you’re cooking. Also, following the three-foot rule.

“Three feet is a great rule of thumb,” says Froehlich. especially if you have children or pets at home. Keep them a meter away from your kitchen, stove, and places where you have heat sources.

It is also important to turn the handles of pots and pans toward the back of the range while cooking. Then no one can bang them causing fires or burns.

Frying a turkey can be as dangerous as it is delicious. Avoid frying an unfrozen bird and avoid combustibles to catch the fat. Also monitor the temperature of the oil.

“The oil can overheat and become the cause of the fire, which is why we want to make sure that we heat this oil to the right temperature,” says Froehlich.

When frying, keep at least ten feet from any building.

Hot oils in the pan

If you have a fire, there are a few things you can do to keep everyone safe.

“Evacuate the house and call 911,” Froehlich said. “If it’s something small that you feel you have some control over, there are some really easy things you can do. If a fire breaks out inside the microwave or oven, turn off the heat source and leave it closed so that it cannot breathe.

Keep a lid or baking sheet near the stove in case there is a fire on the stove.

“The best thing to do is suffocate it,” says Froehlich. “If you can put a lid on it or you can’t get close to it, slide a baking sheet over it.” You take away that source of oxygen.

Fires can also be started by what you wear. Avoid long sleeves when cooking on a stovetop.

“If you wear scarves or a dress, sometimes people will have a blanket over them, or maybe a towel around your shoulder, these are all things that when you reach out and cook on a hot serve, can take fire, ”says Froehlich. .

If there is a small fire, keep the doors closed, smother the flame, if you can, and use a baffle or extinguisher.

Firestops and extinguishers can be holiday gifts that can also be installed by your local fire department.