Let’s be honest: It’s all about the meal.
Sure, Thanksgiving is a day for family get-togethers and renewing old acquaintances, but the real star of the event is the traditional turkey dinner with all the trimmings.
And while Fullerton’s firefighters are looking forward to sharing the holiday meal with their families, they are reminding residents to be extra careful when preparing their own feast as nearly 50 percent of all house fires across the nation start in the kitchen.
“Care should always be taken while working in the kitchen,” said Fullerton Fire Chief Wolfgang Knabe, “but people should be extra vigilant around the holidays.
“Preparing the Thanksgiving meal is often a group project, with many people in the kitchen helping with the chores. And where there’s a crowd there’s noisy chatter and confusion, and that adds up to a greater chance for an accident to occur.”
In an effort to ensure all citizens have a happy and safe turkey day, Fullerton’s firefighters offer the following kitchen safety tips:
- Make sure your cooking appliances are in good working order.
- Start your holiday cooking with a clean stove and oven. Make sure any old grease or food spills are cleaned up to lessen the chance of a flare-up.
- Keep kitchen clutter and loose clothing away from stove burners.
- Turn pot handles in toward the rear of the stove, out of the reach of children. If the handles stick out over the stove, they could be grabbed by a child, spilling their hot contents and causing burns.
- NEVER leave cooking food unattended.
- If the contents in a pot or pan catch fire, do not touch or try to move the pot or pan as you may spread the fire or burn yourself. Extinguish the flames with a fire extinguisher, metal lid or larger pot.
- NEVER use water on a grease fire; extinguish the flames with a fire extinguisher, metal lid or larger pot.
- Use potholders to prevent burns. If you are burned, do not use ice, butter or other such substances on the burn. Ice can damage the skin, and butter or other substances can trap the heat inside. Instead, cool the burn off under a steady stream of cool tap water and then seek medical assistance, if necessary.
- Keep holiday decorations such as dried leaves and cornstalks away from heat sources such as stoves, candles or heaters.
- Never leave candles burning unattended.
- In the event of a fire or medical emergency, always call 911.
The fire chief also reminds residents that smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are required to be installed in their homes. He also advises residents to have an ABC-rated home fire extinguisher in their home.
Further holiday safety and year-round fire prevention tips may be obtained by calling the Fire Prevention Division of the Fullerton Fire Department at (714) 738-6500.