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Red Cross Releases Thanksgiving Cooking Safety Tips

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Thanks to Chi Kong Lui at the American Red Cross in Greater New York for these tips on keeping your Thanksgiving safe and fire-free:

In the U.S., Thanksgiving is the peak day for cooking fires, 90 percent of which are caused by unattended cooking. “We all think of Thanksgiving as a time for family, good food and football, but it’s also prime time for cooking fires,” said Vikki Pryor, CEO at the American Red Cross in Greater New York. “Taking a few simple precautions can help everyone have a safe and happy holiday.”

Ten Tips to Avoid Thanksgiving Day Disaster:

1.  Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling or broiling food and keep a fire extinguisher handy. If you leave the kitchen even for a short period of time, turn off the stove.

2.  If you are simmering, baking, roasting, or boiling food, check it regularly, remain in the home while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you’re cooking.

3.  Clean cooking surfaces on a regular basis to prevent grease buildup.

4.  Keep anything that can catch fire—potholders, wooden utensils, food wrappers, towels or curtains—away from your stove top.

5.  Make sure your sleeves are out of the way when cooking. Wear tighter fitting clothing with shorter sleeves.

6.  Have a “kid-free zone” of at least 3 feet around the stove and areas where hot food or drink is prepared or carried.

7.  Never hold a child while cooking, drinking or carrying hot foods or liquids.

8.  Turn the handles of pots and pans on the stove inward to avoid accidents.

9.  Smoke alarms save lives. Install a smoke alarm near your kitchen, on each level of your home, near sleeping areas, and inside and outside bedrooms if you sleep with doors closed. Use the test button to check it each month. Replace all batteries at least once a year.

10. If you are deep frying your turkey, before filling your fryer with oil, take into account how much the oil level will rise with the turkey in the fryer to prevent overspill. Also make sure the turkey is completely thawed in the refrigerator for 3 days. Frying a frozen turkey will splatter violently.

Visit the Red Cross Greater New York website for more fire prevention tips or take an online Turkey cooking quiz.

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