November 15, 2012 1:28 am
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
According to the NFPA, holiday trees, lights and decor cause an average 390 fires resulting in 21 civilian deaths and 41 injuries per year. Fire research conducted by UL found that today's residential fires burn hotter and faster due to the combination of open floor plans and increased use of synthetic building materials, furnishings and decor.
Each year, UL engineers and scientists perform thousands of rigorous tests on products such as holiday lights and electric decorations and is offering the following safety guidelines to help families identify and prevent hazards that too often result in accidents or tragedy.
Check Your Lights, Check Them Twice:
- Inspect all of your electric lights and decorations for damage or wear
- Cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires and loose connections may pose a fire or shock hazard
- Cords should not be run under carpets or tacked up with metal nails or staples
- Small decorations can be a choking hazard for small children or pets and should be kept out of reach
- Keep flammable materials "three feet from the heat" of lit candles or fireplaces
- Indoor-use-only light strings are marked with UL's green holographic label
- Indoor- or outdoor-use light strings are marked with UL's red holographic label
- Only use light strings and other electrical decorations that bear the UL mark. The UL mark indicates that samples of that product have been tested to UL's safety standards
Published with permission from RISMedia.