OCEAN CITY — The smell of a fresh cut Christmas tree, cookies in the oven and the apple spice candle burning reminds you that the family will soon be arriving at your home for the holidays. Christmas presents are wrapped and the kids are excited because Santa will be here soon.
As you and your family gather at the dinner table, the Ocean City Fire Department reminds you that the holidays are a time of joy and excitement, and a few simple steps can not only ensure a joyous holiday spirit but a safe one as well.
Many families will gather in the kitchen to spend time together, but it can be one of the most hazardous rooms in the house if you do not practice safe cooking.
It can be a recipe for serious injury, or even death, to wear very loose clothing (especially hanging sleeves) next to a stove. The same can be said for walking away from a cooking pan, or leaving flammable materials, such as potholders or paper towels, around the stove. It is vital to stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, or broiling food.
If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove. With the phone ringing, kids and visitors in and out, it’s also a good thing to set a timer to remind you that you’re cooking.
Burns and scalds are often due to overturned pots or pans containing hot food or liquids. To prevent this, use the back burner when possible and/or turn pot handles away from the stove’s edge.
All appliance cords need to be kept coiled and away from counter edges. When you are moving hot food from ovens, microwave ovens, or stovetops use oven mitts or potholders. Never use wet oven mitts or potholders because they can cause scald burns.
Whether you are cooking the family holiday dinner or baking holiday cookies, practicing safe cooking will help keep you and your family safe. The Ocean City Fire Department wishes you and your family a loving and safe holiday season.
(The writer is the Ocean City Fire Department’s Public Information Officer.)