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During the holidays and family gatherings, kitchens are used more than normal. Since the kitchen is a common place for fires to start, now is the time to review safety measures to prevent kitchen fires and know what to do if a fire does start.
Here are some tips to prevent fires and burns:
• Do not leave food cooking on the burners unattended. “Unattended cooking” is the “number one” cause of cooking fires.
• Keep flammable materials away from burners and other heat sources.
• Don’t wear clothes with large or loose sleeves when cooking as they can catch fire or burn.
• Keep stovetops and the insides of ovens and microwaves clean and free of grease, oil or food residue that could ignite.
• Keep all pot and pan handles facing inside from the stove edge.
• Keep hot pans and dishes away from edges of counters and tabletops.
• Keep electrical cords from dangling over the edges of counters or tables and away from burners.
• Avoid cooking when you have taken medicine that makes you drowsy. Do not cook and drink alcohol at the same time.
• Keep an ABC fire extinguisher in or near the kitchen and know how to use it before a fire starts.
• If a fire starts in a skillet or pan, cover it with the lid or a larger pan, turn off the stove, and leave the lid in place until the pan is cool.
• Never carry a burning pan to the sink or door because it will be so hot you can easily spill the contents, burn yourself, or drop the pan spreading the fire.
• Do not fight a grease fire with water; water will splash grease and spread fire.
• If your clothing catches on fire: (a) stop, drop and roll (covering your face with your hands); or (b) use a towel or blanket to smother the flames.
Winter weather: Dress warmly and stay dry
This winter has been colder than normal. During extremely cold weather, and especially if there are high winds, try to stay indoors. Make trips outside brief and remember these tips to protect your health and safety: When extremely cold, wear a hat, scarf or knit mask to cover your face and mouth. Wear clothes with sleeves that are snug at the wrist. Wear mittens, (they are warmer than gloves), water-resistant coat and boots and several layers of loose-fitting clothing.
Be sure the outer layer of your clothing is tightly woven, preferably wind resistant, to reduce body-heat loss caused by wind. Wool, silk or polypropylene inner layers of clothing will hold more body heat than cotton.
Stay dry—wet clothing chills the body rapidly. Excess perspiration will increase heat loss, so remove extra layers of clothing whenever you feel too warm. Do not ignore shivering. It’s an important first sign that the body is losing heat. Persistent shivering is a signal to return indoors.
We wish you, your family and loved ones a very safe and happy holiday. See you next year.
Grace Angotti is Carroll Co. Extension agent for family and consumer sciences. Call her at (502) 732-7030 or send e-mail to email@example.com.