Cooking safely during the holiday season

The holidays are full of excitement, good food and fun times with family. As preparations for the busy holiday season are underway, the Loudoun County Combined Fire and Rescue System encourages residents to follow safe cooking practices. Cooking is the leading cause of residential fires during the Thanksgiving holiday and throughout the year. Take a few moments to review these safety tips and ensure your holiday is memorable for all the right reasons.

Stay in the kitchen while cooking on the stovetop. If you leave the kitchen, even briefly, turn off the stove. If baking, roasting, or broiling, set timers to remind you food is cooking.

Keep combustibles, such as oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains, away from your stovetop.

Maintain a three-foot safety zone for kids and pets around stove and hot appliances. Turn pot handles away so young children are less likely to get burned.

Fried turkey fan? The Loudoun County Combined Fire and Rescue System recommends buying one from a grocery store or restaurant, or consider an oil-less turkey fryer. Hot oil from a turkey fryer can cause serious burns and destroy property.  

If you do have a fire:

On the stovetop, slide a lid on the pan to smother the flames and turn off the burner. Do not remove the lid until the pan is completely cooled. Remember, never pour water on a grease fire. 

For an oven fire, immediately turn off the heat and close the oven door.

When in doubt, get out then call 9-1-1. Close the door behind you to help contain the fire.

 Working smoke alarms save lives. Never disconnect the smoke alarms in your home, especially while cooking. For additional fire prevention information visit or contact Lisa Braun, Public Education Manager, at 571-258-3222.

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