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November 20, 2020

State Fire Marshal’s Thanksgiving Gathering Safety Tips

As the holiday season begins, the State Fire Marshal’s Office wants to ensure all Louisiana families are aware of how to stay safe, not only in the kitchen, but in gathered settings as well.

“We know the holidays this year are going to be different, especially Thanksgiving, when coming together for an extended meal is at the core of the day’s tradition,” said State Fire Marshal Chief H. “Butch” Browning, “But Louisiana families have to take precautions against COVID-19 just as we stress taking precautions to avoid fire hazards while cooking that traditional meal.”

First, it is recommended to avoid gatherings, of any size, that involve people who do not live in your immediate household. However, if you’re planning to have family members gather at your home, who don’t reside in your home on a regular basis, or you plan on visiting a family member’s home:

  • Keep the group small and outdoors
  • Practice social distancing
  • Wear face coverings when not actively consuming food and beverages
  • Wash your hands frequently and disinfect shared serving utensils after every use
  • If you’re feeling sick or experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, stay home and avoid gatherings with anyone

Second, if you’re cooking at home, here are the top cooking safety tips to keep in mind:

  • Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stove
  • Stay in the home when you are cooking any food item
  • Keep children at least three feet away from the stove, sharp objects and hot foods and/or liquids
  • Keep electrical cords, matches and lighters out of the reach of children
  • Keep the kitchen space clear to avoid tripping hazards
  • Make sure you have working smoke alarms

Also, if you’re planning to fry your turkey this year, consider testing out the appropriate oil level a few days ahead of time with water instead. Fill up your pot with water, dip the turkey in, and if any water overflows, you’ll need to use less oil when you actual conduct the fry on Thanksgiving. And don’t forget to fully defrost that turkey before dropping it into the oil.

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