ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. --
Super Bowl Sunday is the second biggest day for food consumption in the United States and that means a lot of time spent planning and preparing game day snacks.
“Cooking is the biggest cause of home fires and fire injuries,” said Staff Sergeant Levi Hickey, fire inspector assigned to the 28th Civil Engineer Squadron Fire and Emergency Services. “Always make safety a priority in the kitchen.”
Before you kick off your menu, take a look at these tips for safer cooking.
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.
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.
Prevent burns when you’re cooking. Wear short sleeves, or roll them up. Do not lean over the burner. Use potholders and oven mitts to handle hot or steaming cookware.
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 that they can’t touch or pull them down. Never hold a child when you cook.
Also, keep safety in mind when serving on game day. If you burn candles, position them out of the 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 that 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 that nothing comes in contact with the flame.
If young children are in your home, supervise them and keep matches and lighters locked away.
For additional fire safety and burn prevention information, contact the Ellsworth AFB Fire Prevention Office at (605) 385-7307.