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Holiday Cooking Safety

Holiday Feast

Holiday FeastIf you’re like many other people in the United States right now, you are getting prepared for a Christmas Day feast. Christmas is a day for eating yummy food such as roasted turkey or ham, baked, mashed or fried potatoes, green beans or green bean casserole, corn, cranberry sauce, pickled herring, baked or smoked salmon, fried chicken, garlic toast, deep fried turkey, or whatever other types of culinary dishes your family likes to eat on this holiday.  Throughout the county, ovens and other cooking methods will be fired up and put into high gear.  Unfortunately, this is the time of year for many house fires as well.  Before you fire up that deep fat fryer or electric roaster, make sure you take a few safety precautions first.

Turkey Fryers: These fryers have gained in popularity over the years but lack of knowledge and forethought when deep frying a turkey can cause some unexpected holiday fireworks and some serious injuries.  First, move the fryer far away from the house and have a fire extinguisher ready just in case.  Many a deep fat fryer has turned into a fiery mess and done damage to the house whereby it resides.  Don’t be one of the casualties this holiday season, practice safety first and keep your house in tact and your family safe. For a visual of what can happen in an unsafe situation, check out this YouTube video:

Crock Pots: Probably one of the safest methods of cooking and one that most people feel comfortable leaving unattended.  However, an older crock pot with a frayed cord or iffy heating element could still cause a fire.  If your all day cooker is getting long in the tooth, retire it and purchase a new one.  You may be quite amazed at how far this cooking tool has come over the last few years and you may be delighted by the cool features of the newer models.  Additionally, the newer crock pots aren’t really all that pricey.  If you have your 20% off coupon, you can buy one at that 3 B store, you know the one I’m talking about!  And remember, when you put it to use, keep it in the clear and away from anything that will melt or catch fire with excessive heat.  Don’t forget: use it in a dry not wet area, i.e., not near the sink.

Electric Pressure Cooker (Instant Pot brand or others): The electric pressure cooker has become extremely popular over the last couple of years.  Understandably so.  I have cooked a frozen solid roast in mine in under an hour on several occasions!  However, one thing I have learned the hard way is that when the thing is done cooking, I need to carefully open the steam port and stand back to let the steam out otherwise, I get burned.  As well, the lid on mine gets full of condensed hot steam and when I pull the lid off, I have been burned by the very hot water.  As with any electric cooking equipment, the electric pressure cooker should be used in a place clear of anything that will melt or become damaged or volatile when in the presence of extreme heat.  Also, be sure to check the electric cord and make sure it is in good condition and keep it clear of any wet areas.

These that I have mentioned are just three of the many kinds of cooking tools that people use for their holiday menus.  Some of the others I have not mentioned might include:  electric roasters, toaster ovens, electric or gas ovens, electric or gas stoves, deep fat fryers, air fryers, electric skillets and more.  The cautions I mentioned above can apply to all of these methods of cooking.  If you are well prepared, keep cords and equipment in good condition, keep electric equipment away from water, keep hot equipment away from anything that will be affected by heat, keep children and pets away from these items and keep a fire extinguisher ready just in case.  And never, ever throw water on an electric or oil fire!  Use a fire extinguisher and call the fire department immediately!

Stay safe and have a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! From All of Us at Peter Needham Electrical and HVAC!

As always, Peter is available for emergency services! (But we don’t put out fires! LOL!)


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