Thanksgiving is one of the country’s top days for cooking fires, and the American Red Cross of Northern New England encourages family chefs to follow simple steps to prepare the holiday feast safely.
“Home fires are a real threat over the holidays and represent most of our disaster responses in New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine,” said John Montes, Regional Disaster Officer, Red Cross Northern New England Region. “Help keep your family safe by always keeping an eye on what you fry, testing your smoke alarms monthly and practicing your two-minute escape plan with everyone in your household.”
Follow these safety tips and visit redcross.org/fire for more information, including an escape plan to practice with your family. You can also download the free Red Cross Emergency and First Aid apps by searching “American Red Cross” in app stores.
- Never leave cooking food unattended. If you must leave the kitchen, even for a short period of time, turn off the stove.
- Move items that can burn away from the stove. This includes dishtowels, bags, boxes, paper and curtains. Also keep children and pets at least three feet away.
- Avoid wearing loose clothing or dangling sleeves while cooking.
- When frying food, turn the burner off if you see smoke or if the grease starts to boil. Carefully remove the pan from the burner.
- Keep a pan lid or a cookie sheet nearby. Use it to cover the pan if it catches on fire. This will put out the fire. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.
IF YOU NEED HELP If you cannot afford to purchase smoke alarms or are physically unable to install one, the Red Cross may be able to help. Visit redcross.org/EndHomeFiresNNE or call 1-800-464-6692 (Option 4) to schedule your free installation appointment.
HOME FIRE CAMPAIGN SAVES LIVES Since October 2014, the Red Cross Home Fire Campaign with community partners has saved at least 1,414 lives — including 15 in the Northern New England region — by educating families about fire safety, helping them create escape plans and installing more than 2.4 million free smoke alarms in high-risk neighborhoods across the country. Visit redcross.org/homefires for more information.
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides comfort to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; distributes international humanitarian aid; and supports veterans, military members and their families. The Red Cross is a nonprofit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to deliver its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org.