NORTHBROOK, Ill., Nov. 14, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Cooking and decorating, both long standing holiday traditions, help make the season merry and bright. However, these activities can also increase the chances of home fires. In fact, cooking remains the number one cause of home fires, with incidents increasing during the festive season. According to the NFPA (National Fire Protection Agency), fires involving holiday lights and decor result in $25.5 million in property damage each year.
In an effort to help prevent home fires, UL (Underwriters Laboratories), a global science safety company, is encouraging families to follow a few important safety tips this holiday season.
"In the kitchen, even the most experienced chefs make mistakes," says UL Consumer Safety Director, John Drengenberg. "Trying to do too many things at once while cooking can potentially lead to accidental fires and related injuries. Protect your family by being a smart and safe chef."
UL offers the following safety guidelines to help prevent accidents in the kitchen:Watch the Heat:
- When simmering, baking, roasting or boiling food, check regularly
- Never put metal in the microwave
- Keep kids at least three feet from the stove and other areas where hot food is cooked
- Keep the cooking area clean and clear of anything that can catch fire, such as potholders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, towels or curtains
- Wear short, close-fitting or tightly rolled sleeves when cooking, as loose clothing can dangle onto stove burners and catch fire if it comes into contact with a gas flame or electric burner
- When cooking, it's also a good idea to turn the handles of pots inward, in case small kids enter the kid-free zone and reach for the handles
- Kitchens are particularly susceptible to overloaded outlets. Always pay attention to the recommended wattage for cords and power strips
- Remember to remove the plug by reaching up and pulling it out of the socket rather than yanking on the cord. Cords should also not be placed underneath anything that is heavy nor should they be tacked to a wall to get them out of the way