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From the Fire Marshal: Safe Holiday Cooking

November ushers in the holiday season and while family, food and fun are the orders of the day, safety also should be top of mind.

“With all the added guests and activity in the house, it’s easy to lose sight of things happening in the kitchen and elsewhere,” said Nathan Green, UH Sugar Land Fire Marshal. “In fact, more home cooking fires happen at Thanksgiving than at other times of the year.”

UHSL Assistant Fire Marshal Nathan Green

Green offered these tips:

  • Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stovetop so you can keep an eye on the food.
  • Stay in the home when cooking your turkey and check on it frequently.
  • Keep children away from 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 the floor clear so you don’t trip over kids, toys or bags.
  • Be sure electric cords from an electric knife, coffee maker, plate warmer or mixer are not dangling off the counter within easy reach of a child.
  • Keep matches and utility lighters out of the reach of children — up high in a locked cabinet.
  • Make sure your smoke alarms are working. Test them by pushing the test button.
  • Never leave children alone in room with a lit candle.

He also suggested keeping a lid nearby when cooking on the stove to smother small grease fires sparked by hot oil. And though this time of year brings out the turkey fryer, Green urged caution.

“The National Fire Prevention Association discourages gas-fueled turkey fryers that immerse turkeys in hot oil, suggesting instead “oil-less” frying or leaving the cooking to the professionals,” he said. “Common sense and care should be the order of the day.”

For additional safety tips or answers to questions, visit with your Fire Marshal. Find him in Brazos Hall, room 178.

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