A message from the Newport News Fire Department
Fires increase during the winter months, especially during the holidays, and it’s important to be prepared! Make sure you have working smoke alarms and a home escape plan. Include your overnight guests in this plan so everyone knows how to escape if a fire starts in your home. The Newport News Fire Department is offering special cooking safety tips to help ensure a safe Thanksgiving Holiday!
- Watch what you heat! The leading cause of fires in unattended cooking. Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking. If you have to leave, turn off your stove.
- Keep your cooking area clean and clear! Ensure that all potholders, towels, wooden utensils, plastic bags, food packaging, or curtains are away from the stovetop. Keep the stovetop free from grease and items that could be knocked onto a burner. Do not cook while wearing loose clothing that could dangle onto stove burners.
- Protect your children! Keep children away from the cooking areas to prevent scalds and burns. Enforce a “kid-free zone” of at least 3 feet around the stove. You can put a sticker on the floor so that children know that they can go no farther than the sticker. Do not hold a child while cooking or carrying hot food or liquids.
- Underwriters Laboratories (UL) has issued an opinion that now considers turkey fryers to be dangerous to consumers. In fact, UL does not certify any turkey fryers with their UL Mark. Many units can easily tip over which can cause the hot oil to spill from the cooking pot. Spillover of hot oil often occurs when too much oil is used in the fryer or when a partially frozen turkey is added to the unit. This spillover can cause the entire unit to become engulfed in flames when the oil hits the burner or flames. With no thermostat controls, the units can overheat to the point of combustion. Burn injuries can occur from the extremely hot lid and handles on the fryer.
If you are a homeowner in Newport News and do not have a working smoke alarm, you can apply by calling the Newport News Fire Department Smoke Detector Hotline at 757-247-8888. Visit their website at www.nnva.gov/fire
for additional information.