Cooking Carefully this Holiday Season

The holiday season starts earlier every year, often with baking and cooking kicking off the festivities. Careful cooking, with fire prevention as a top priority, can make the difference between a safe season for your family and a holiday tragedy. Here are some tips to prevent holiday cooking fires this year.

Roast your bird safely.

If you plan to roast your turkey in the oven and you’re using a disposable aluminum roasting pan, be sure to use a brand new one. Reusing an aluminum pan you have washed from previous use may be tempting, but a reused pan is more likely to be punctured with a cut or hole — which means dripping grease in your oven that can result in a fast-spreading cooking fire. Ideally, you should use a metal or enamel pan to roast your turkey. Once cooking begins, stay near the kitchen the entire time and check on your bird every 30 to 40 minutes (while also basting it to keep it from drying out).

Fry your bird properly.

Frying turkey has skyrocketed in popularity over the past decade. When it comes to fire prevention, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) takes a firm stance: Don’t do it. If you decide against this advice, please follow the first and most important rule: Only fry your turkey outside. Frying a turkey inside is a deadly proposition. Also, do not fry until the turkey is completely thawed out.

Placing a frozen turkey into the fryer is extremely dangerous, so start the thawing process the day before you plan to fry it.

Bake with caution.

Whether you’re baking cookies, pies or other holiday treats, proceed with caution from the moment you get started. Know that butter, cooking oil and other fat-based ingredients are highly flammable; this is why baking commonly sets off smoke alarms. It may seem like a nuisance, but make sure your smoke alarms are working with fresh batteries. The NFPA advises testing them by pushing the test button before you begin baking. Smoke alarms installed by Alarmingly Affordable will detect flaming fires as well as smoldering fires; they immediately sound the alarm and notify the fire department so you can get help to your home if a fire breaks out.

By cooking carefully this holiday season, you can make big strides toward protecting your home from fire. For questions on smoke alarms and residential fire protection, call Alarmingly Affordable this season.

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