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7 Essential Cooking Safety Tips

cooking-safety

Download Our Cooking Safety Guide

The kitchen is considered by many as the heart of the home, the place where family and friends gather to enjoy each other’s company and delicious food.

At OceanPoint Insurance, we want all of your gatherings to be safe and joyful.

With an average of 455 fires daily, according to the National Association of Fire Prevention, cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home fire-related injuries.

Below are seven safety tips to keep you and your loved ones safe so you can enjoy what matters most…the food, friends, and family!

1. Be Attentive:  33%* of all kitchen fires happen when food is left unattended causing 49%* of all kitchen fire-related deaths. Whether you are roasting, grilling, simmering, or frying, always remain in the vicinity. Be sure to check on your food frequently and always turn off the oven or range if you are not in the home.

2. Be Alert: While wine is delicious when used in your favorite recipes, it is not a good idea to consume alcohol while cooking. Your judgment may become impaired, and you will be more likely to leave the food unattended, or you may forget to turn off the range or the oven. If you feel sleepy, it is best not to cook anything which involves heat. Wait until you are well rested to don your chef hat and start simmering.

3. Clear the Area: Have you ever carelessly tossed a dish towel on the counter? Dish towels and other items that are too close to the stove or cooking area pose a fire hazard.   10%* of all kitchen fires and 23%* of associated deaths are caused by flammable items being too close to the cooking area. Organizing the area surrounding your range before you begin cooking will minimize the risk of a cooking fire.

4. Know What to Do:  In the event of a kitchen fire, there are a few things you need to know. It is advisable to get out of the house and call 911 immediately. Cooking fires cause 55%* of all kitchen related fire injuries where civilians attempt to fight the fire by themselves.

5. Service and Maintain Your Stove: Most cooking fires involve the use of the stove and to minimize the risk of fire it is essential that the oven is cleaned on a regular basis. Most stoves offer a self-cleaning setting, use this to keep the inside free of grease and other hazardous materials. After cooking, be sure to clean the range and the oven thoroughly. When necessary, have your stove serviced to be sure that all components are in working order.

6. Kid-Free Zone: Just in case your little ones get a little too curious, it is good practice to establish a kid-free zone around all preparation and cooking areas.

7. Download Our Cooking Safety Guide: click this link to download the guide, share with all family members and keep a copy in your kitchen.

Follow these simple safety tips so that you can enjoy each meal with your family and friends in safety. At OceanPoint Insurance, we wish you and your inner chef a safe and delicious cooking experience.

*Source: National Fire Prevention Association

Exercise Caution to Ensure a Safe Thanksgiving

ThanksgivingThanksgiving is a time for great food, and spending quality time with family and friends. We all know the kitchen is the heart of the home, especially during the festive weeks to come. While the holidays are a wonderful time of year, they can also pose many dangers.

Thanksgiving is the leading day for cooking fires, with three times as many cooking fires taking place than on an average day. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) in 2013, Thanksgiving Day was the leading date for home cooking fires with 1,550, 230% above the average number of fires per day.

Keeping fire and cooking safety top of mind during this joyous but hectic time is important, especially when there is a lot of activity and people at home. Below are some safety tips you can follow to ensure a safe and enjoyable holiday:

  • Remain in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling or broiling food. If you have to leave the kitchen, remember to turn off the stove.
    • According to the NFPA, unattended cooking was the leading contributing factor in cooking fires and fire deaths. Cooking equipment is the leading cause of home structure fires and associated civilian injuries and was the third leading cause of home fire deaths.
  • Stay in the home when cooking your turkey and check on it frequently.
  • Keep a lid nearby when you’re cooking to smother small grease fires. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.
  • Make sure kids stay away from the stove, hot food and liquids. The steam or splash from vegetables or gravy could cause serious burns.
  • Keep the floor clear so you do not trip over kids, toys, pocketbooks or bags.
  • Be sure electric cords from an electric knife, plate warmer or mixer are not dangling off the counter within easy reach of a child.
  • Make sure your smoke alarms are working. Test them by pushing the test button.
  • If you experience an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.

Although a popular cooking method, turkey fryers are very dangerous if used incorrectly.

  • Only use a turkey fryer outdoors, away from trees and wooden structures.
  • Never place a frozen turkey into the fryer, because the mixture of ice and oil can cause flare-ups, or hot-oil explosions.
  • If using propane, leave at least two feet between the tank and the burner.
  • Turkeys weighing more than 12 pounds are unsafe to fry, which is why we recommend turkeys between 8 and 10 pounds if you consider frying a turkey.
  • Do not stuff or marinade the turkey if you are planning to fry it.
  • When finished, remove the pot from the burner and cover it for at least 24-hours before emptying the oil.

For more information on how to keep your home safe, call OceanPoint Insurance at 401-847-5200.

Thanksgiving Cooking & Kitchen Fire Safety

Thanksgiving_4Thanksgiving is a time for great food, and spending quality time with family and friends. We all know the kitchen is the heart of the home, especially at Thanksgiving, so it is important you practice kitchen safety. With so much activity and people around, it can be easy to be distracted.

Thanksgiving is the leading day for home fires involving cooking equipment, with 3 times the average number.

To ensure the safety of your loved ones, as well protecting your home, we offer some simple precautionary cooking and kitchen fire safety tips to follow:

  • Keep a lid nearby when you’re cooking to smother small grease fires. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.
  • Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stovetop so you can keep an eye on the food.
  • Keep kids away from cooking areas by enforcing a “kid-free zone” of three feet around the stove.
  • Make sure kids stay away from hot food and liquids. The steam or splash from vegetables, gravy or coffee could cause serious burns.
  • Keep knives out of the reach of children.
  • Stay in the home when cooking your turkey and check on it frequently.
  • Make sure your smoke alarms are working.
  • Avoid wearing loose clothing or dangling sleeves while cooking.
  • If you must use a turkey fryer, make sure it is outdoors and in an open area away from all walls, fences or other structures that could catch on fire and away from moisture that can cause serious burns from steam or splattering hot oil.
  • Have activities that keep kids out of the kitchen during this busy time. Games, puzzles or books can keep them busy.
  • Keep anything that can catch on fire—pot holders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, and towels or curtains—away from your stove top and oven or any other appliance in the kitchen that generates heat.

For more information on home to keep your home safe, call OceanPoint Insurance at 401-847-5200.