Judie Docs, Executive Officer, North Coast Building Industry Association (NCBIA), CSP, MCSP, CGP, CMP, MIRM

As you prepare your holiday meals this year, it is important to keep you and your family safe. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), cooking is the number one cause of home fires and home fire injuries. There are simple ways homeowners can make sure their family and loved ones are safe in and around the kitchen during the holidays. As you spend more time in the kitchen this year, keep the following tips in mind.

Stay in the kitchen while cooking. With so many distractions at home from phone calls to kids needing help with homework, it may be tempting to step away from your kitchen for a few minutes. If you are frying, boiling, grilling, or broiling food, make sure to stay in the kitchen. Unattended cooking is the leading cause of fires in the kitchen. Experts recommend staying home and checking your food regularly especially if you are simmering, baking, or roasting food.

Keep a lid within reach. When you are cooking make sure you always have a lid nearby. If a small grease fire starts in your kitchen, experts recommend sliding the lid over the pan and turning off the burner. Avoid uncovering the pan until it is completely cool. 

Be aware of flammable materials. Make sure to remove anything that could catch fire away from your stovetop. Another thing to remember is loose clothing can hang down onto stove burners and catch fire. Wear short, close-fitting, or tightly rolled sleeves when cooking.

Keep children away from cooking areas. Preparing meals with your family can be a treasured tradition. Do not forget about safety. If you have small children in your kitchen, NFPA recommends setting up a “kid-free zone” at least three feet around your stove and areas where hot food or drink is prepared or carried. 

Do not forget about smoke alarms. Working smoking alarms in your home can cut in half the risk of fire-related deaths. If you do not already have smoke alarms in your home, install them in every sleeping room and outside each separate sleeping area on every level of your home. If you have smoke alarms installed, remember to test your smoke alarms at least once a month using the test buttons.

Our not-for-profit association is dedicated to promoting, protecting, strengthening, and informing our local home building markets and those who work within them to ensure we are, independently and collectively are a viable economic engine of growth now and in the future.  Please feel free to use the NCBIA as a resource for any need that you may have, involved in all aspects of home building, remodeling, and other aspects of residential and light commercial construction.  Chances are we have a dependable and reputable member that can assist you (from Accountants to Window Cleaning).

Visit our website – ncbia.com for a list of our members, past articles such as this,  and be sure to visit our Virtual Parade of Homes.  Or, give us a call Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at 440-934-1090.

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Homeownership is truly a cornerstone of the American way of life.  North Coast Building Industry – Come Build with Us!