Did you know that Super Bowl Sunday ranked #6 behind Thanksgiving, Christmas and Memorial Day in 2013 as having the largest numbers of estimated reported home fires on a holiday? According to NFPA’s 2015 Home Fires Involving Cooking Equipment report, an annual average of 590 home cooking fires occurred on Super Bowl Sunday in 2013. That’s a 25% increase over the average number of fires on a typical day!
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) tells us that Super Bowl Sunday is also the second biggest day of the year for food consumption! So if you’re planning to whip up some tasty snacks for this year’s game, make sure you add kitchen fire safety “plays” to your line up.
What’s the best way to do that? The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) offers a handful of great tips below that are easy to follow:
1. Kitchen Huddle
Prepare your cooking area. Use back burners or turn pot handles toward the back of the stove. Move things that can burn away from the stove. Keep a timer handy and use it when you’re roasting or baking.
2. Penalty Flag
Frying poses the greatest risk of fire. Keep an eye on what you fry. Start with a small amount of oil and heat it slowly. If you see smoke or if the grease starts to boil in your pan, turn the burner off. Even a small amount of oil on a hot burner can start a fire.
Stay awake and alert while you’re cooking. Stand by your pan. If you leave the kitchen, turn the burner off. Keep a large pan lid or baking sheet nearby in case you need to smother a pan fire.
4. Illegal Contact
Prevent burns when you’re cooking. Wear short sleeves, or roll them up. Don’t lean over the burner. Use potholders and oven mitts to handle hot or steaming cookware.
5. Defensive Linemen
Children need constant adult supervision. If you have young children in the home, keep them three feet from anything that can get hot, including the stove. Put hot objects and liquids beyond a child’s reach so they can’t touch or pull them down. Never hold a child when you cook.
Keep safety in mind when serving on game day, too. If you burn candles, position them out of reach of children and away from anything that can burn. Consider using flameless candles that are lit by battery power instead. Food warmers and slow cookers get hot. Place them toward the back of the serving table so they won’t get knocked off. Provide hot pads to prevent burns. Light the chafing dish fuel can after it is placed under the warmer. Make sure nothing comes in contact with the flame. If young children are in your home, supervise them and keep matches and lighters locked away.
Enjoy the game, everyone, and please stay safe!