Safety First

As Thanksgiving draws closer, in the interest of home safety I’m linking to a release by the National Fire Protection Association concerning tips for preventing fires.  Of course, I do have a few comments to add to their statement in order to bring what they have to say into the real world.First, a quick update.  The BIG SHOP has happened and Rancho Deluxe is loaded to the gills with vegetables, various meat products, and baking ingredients.  In between client calls today we’re going to start on a meal that won’t happen for another 48 hours or so.  Guess you thought I was kidding when I said this week’s blog  would be about food and not much business?!?!?

Anyway – Here are some of the NFPA’s tips and my take:

NFPA offers these tips for safer cooking:

Stand by your pan

  • Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, or broiling food.  Of course, some of us cook food outside in boiling hot oil.  Tomorrow, we’ll discuss frying your house and a turkey in the process.
  • If you must leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.  This assures that nothing is ever cooked since we’re constantly out of the kitchen to clean, run to the store, pick someone up at the train, or find more liquor.  I do, however, ask the dog to let me know if the flames reach the range hood.
  • Keep in mind that you should avoid wearing loose clothing or dangling sleeves while cooking. Loose clothing can catch fire if it comes in contact with a gas flame or electric burner.  Exactly.  While many people criticize my spandex cooking outfit, you and I know it’s really for safety!

No kids allowed

  • Keep kids away from cooking areas by enforcing a “kid-free zone” of 3 feet (1 meter) around the stove.  We do this although the barbed wire makes it hard to get things from the fridge.
  • Never hold a small child while cooking.  I usually truss them – they stay moist that way.

Keep it clean

  • Keep anything that can catch fire—pot holders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, towels or curtains—away from your stove top.  “Hey Ma – where did you put the extra roll of paper towels? ”  ” In the oven – hey what’s that smell?”
  • Clean up food and grease from burners and the stove top.  One should turn off the stove before doing so since a grease-sodden rag spontaneously combusts when exposed to a nearby flame.  However, it is pretty funny when some do-gooder cleaning up in her holiday finery while you cook has to be doused by the fire extinguisher
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