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Let’s talk turkey

Holiday cooking safety tips

While this year’s Thanksgiving gatherings may look different than the past due to the COVID-19 pandemic, your family may still get together and spend a lot of time in the kitchen preparing turkey and your favorite dishes. 

According to the National Fire Protection Association, cooking is the No. 1 cause of home fires, and more than 2,000 of those fires happen on Thanksgiving, reports the United States Fire Administration. 

To keep your family safe, it’s worth reviewing some basic holiday food preparation tips before you start cooking. 

10 food preparation safety tips 

• Never leave cooking equipment unattended. Turn off burners before you leave the room, or have someone else take over. 

• Use a timer to remind yourself that the stove or oven is on. 

• Clean the stovetop and oven of grease and dust. 

• Keep the cooking area around the stove/oven clear of combustibles, such as towels, napkins and potholders. 

• Wear short or close-fitting sleeves to avoid catching clothing on fire. 

• Keep kids and pets away from the cooking area. Make them stay at least 3 feet away from the stove. 

• Use the back burners and turn the pot handles in, away from reaching hands to protect from spills and burns. 

• Locate all appliances away from the sink to prevent electric shock. Keep appliance cords away from the stovetop. 

• Plug countertop appliances into ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI)-protected outlets. 

• Consider purchasing a fire extinguisher to keep in your kitchen. Create an escape plan that the entire family knows. Contact your local fire department for training on use of extinguishers. 

Kentucky’s electric cooperatives want you to take precautions to be safe while your family enjoys the holidays.

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