The pots and pans are out. The oven is preheating. The veggies are marinating. The batter is swirling into shape. There might even be too many cooks in the kitchen.
With social distancing in full swing in the Hudson Valley, cooking and baking are outlets for families and individuals to pass time, bond with one another, and create delicious dishes and treats. Because of this, it is important to remember fire safety tips to ensure a happy, healthy home. According to The Firemen’s Association of the State of New York, local fire departments and dispatch agencies are seeing an increase in calls for minor kitchen fires and burnt food ingredients during the self-isolation period.
“We typically see an increase in home kitchen fires around the winter holidays when families host large dinners,” says FASNY President Steven E. Klein. “We want to make sure during this pandemic, as everyone is staying home, that we can avoid unnecessary tragedy. Kitchen fires can be avoided by following some simple safety tips like never leaving the stove unattended and checking that smoke alarms are in good working order.”
For starters, never leave the kitchen unattended. It can be easy to get distracted by something in another room, but wait until the oven is turned off until leaving. Supervise all cooking directly.
Make sure to keep stovetops clear of anything that could catch fire. Move the hand towels away from the burners and avoid loose or dangling clothing.
And remember this quick rule: if you leave the kitchen, the stove must be turned off.
Cooking and baking are great family activities. However, children should remain outside of the kitchen area when hot food is being prepared. Roll the dough out with the kids in another area away from the oven first. Then, when it is time to preheat the oven, ask children to leave the kitchen and bring the pets with them.
Finally, test all of the smoke detectors at home and replace the batteries if needed.
The National Fire Prevention Association reports that kitchen fires are the number one cause of home fires, so remember these tips to keep the entire family safe and sound.