Wake Forest, NC— The kitchen is a popular place, especially during the holidays. Between the turkey, stuffing, casseroles and pies, you’re likely to spend a great deal of time there during the next couple of months. It’s important to remember the kitchen isn’t all sugar; there’s some spice, too. Keep the following safety tips in mind this holiday season.

General Safety:
– The best place to start in the kitchen is at the sink; washing your hands before and after handling foods, especially raw meat, keeps you and your family healthy.

– Prevent slips and falls by wiping up spills immediately.

– Never, ever leave cooking foods unattended.

– Never leave children unattended in the kitchen. It’s not just about cookies in the cookie jar; there are too many hot pans that could topple and sharp knives in arm’s reach.

– Put locks on cabinets and ovens to divert the curious hands of your youngest helpers.

Burn and Fire Prevention:
– Watch out for steam burns. Be careful when lifting lids off of pots or opening things that have been microwaved.

– Put food gently into boiling water or hot oil to prevent it from splashing and burning you.

– Always turn pot handles inward, toward the back of the stove, so they are not as easy to knock over and burn you.

– Use a dry pot holder when handling hot pots and pans. A wet one will not keep the heat at bay.

– Always keep a fire extinguisher in your kitchen and make sure you and your family members know how to use it before an emergency.

– When you are finished cooking, make sure the oven and stove top are turned off.

– Make sure your hands are dry when plugging in appliances.

– Always unplug appliances after you are finished using them.

– GFCI outlets should be installed in your kitchen to help prevent shortages and potential electrocutions.

Knife Safety:
– When cutting or peeling, always do so away from yourself.

– Never dump knives in sudsy dishwater. You won’t be able to see them amongst the suds, and they could cut you.

Turkey Fryer:
If you are planning on frying a turkey this holiday season, consider this–the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) says deep fryers cause an average of five deaths, 60 injuries, and more than $15 million in property damage each year.

– If too much oil is in the fryer pot, hot oil may spill out when the turkey is lowered in, causing flare ups in the burner. Read directions to know how much oil should be used.

– Be sure that your turkey is fully thawed and dry before frying it. Frozen or partially frozen turkeys can cause oil spills and fires. Lower the turkey slowly to prevent spills.

– Place the fryer outside away from structures and other flammable materials.

– Finally, never leave the fryer unattended. The oil temperature will continue to rise until combustion occurs.

Following these safety tips will hopefully result in more time spent eating and enjoying family and fewer accidents. Happy Thanksgiving!

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