As we approach the holidays, people will enjoy delicious meals and the activities associated with their preparation. Unfortunately, a lot of cooking can lead to the potential for home fires. To help holiday revelers, Arlington Fire Lieutenant Jasiel Zapata provides some guidelines and tips to keep everyone safe during the special times people frequently gather for meals.
What can I do to make my cooking activities safe?
Lt. Zapata: Never leave your cooking unattended. You should always monitor what you are cooking in the event something goes wrong. Keep children out of the kitchen to prevent them from being exposed to knives, electrical sources, or heat sources. Make sure you have properly installed and functioning smoke detectors in the area.
What can I do if I have a small fire while cooking?
Lt. Zapata: Always use extreme caution. If in doubt, evacuate to a safe area. If applicable, close the door behind as you leave the room and dial 911. If cooking on a stove top, you can slide a lid over the pan and turn off the burner. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled. If cooking in an oven, keep the door to the oven closed and turn off the heat. Once again always use extreme caution.
If I go with a turkey for a big meal, should I try deep frying it?
Lt. Zapata: Frying in general is more dangerous than other types of cooking because it usually involves a large amount of cooking oil, which is combustible. Both the National Fire Protection Association and Underwriters Laboratories discourage the use of open-flame fryers. Select a safer method to prepare your turkey. Keeping in mind a few simple fire safety guidelines during this holiday period will ensure you and your loved ones stay safe when cooking.”
Pondering what to do with leftover grease following a big holiday meal? Residents can participate in the North Central Texas Council of Government’s 2021 Holiday Grease Roundup through Jan. 10, 2022.
In Arlington, receptacles for used cooking oil are available as part of the holiday roundup at the following locations:
- Woodland West Park (3200 Norwood Lane)
- Bob Cooke Park (2025 Craig Hanking Drive)
For more: DefendYourDrainsNorthTexas.com