Friday, November 13, 2009

GUEST POST: Give Thanks! Live Fire Safe

By Jill Marcinick

November and December brings us all a time of Thanksgiving. It’s a perfect time to pause and count our many blessings. It’s a time to share and spend time with loved ones and give thanks for a year that will soon come to a close. It is also a time to break bread together. Thanksgiving dinner has always been one of my favorite meals, as it’s an opportunity to gather with family, cook together and share stories around a festive holiday table, not to mention I love mashed potatoes! Thanksgiving is also the peak day for home cooking fires according to the National Fire Protection Association. In the midst of preparing our family meals, I urge you to take precautionary measures to prevent burns or a kitchen fire.

Here are some tips to Live Fire Safe:
>> Keep the stovetop clear of combustibles that can burn such as potholders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, towels or curtains.
>> Don’t leave food cooking overnight or while you are away in another room. Keep an eye on the stovetop. Unattended cooking is the leading cause of home fires. If you must leave even for a short time, turn off the stove. Use a timer to remind you that you’re cooking.
>> If a small fire occurs on the stovetop, cover it with a lid or a larger pan and turn the burner off. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled. Water should never be used on a grease fire as it often spreads the fire and causes serious injuries.
>> If you attempt to use a fire extinguisher on a grease fire make sure the extinguisher is properly maintained and you are trained to use it. When in doubt, get out. Close any doors behind you, evacuate the house and call 9-1-1. Over half of home cooking injuries occur when victims try to fight the fire themselves.
>> If a fire occurs in your oven, keep the oven door closed and turn it off. By keeping the door closed, you will keep oxygen from fueling the fire and burning you and your clothing.
>> Keep the number of people in your kitchen to a minimum, especially children. Crowded kitchens can cause confusion and result in burns. Have a “kid-free zone” of at least three feet around the stove and areas where hot food or drink is prepared or carried.
>> Turn pot handles on the stovetop toward the center of the stove so they are not easily bumped.
>> Make sure electrical appliance cords aren’t hanging over the counter.
>> Always use cooking equipment that has been tested and approved by a recognized testing facility such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL). Turkey fryers are not certified by UL due to the high risk of tip over, spill over, or over heating which can lead to hot oil exposure, severe burns and a fire. Cooking bags and approved roasters can be excellent alternatives.

Most importantly, November and December is a time to offer help to those in need, generally when it is most critical. What a perfect way to show your holiday spirit than by helping those less fortunate than you. Consider donating canned goods to help provide a warm holiday dinner to your local food bank (the price of staple Thanksgiving food items are up 6% this year over last).

Food banks throughout the country are seeing more and more working people needing assistance providing food for their families. They attribute this due to the rising costs of food, housing, utilities, health care, and gasoline. Food manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers are finding that they have less surplus food to donate to the food banks. Additionally the government help has decreased over the years. It’s easy, just search your hearts and pantries and donate some of the much needed items.

May your Thanksgiving and Holiday season be FIRE SAFE and blessed with the bounty of the season, love of family, friends and a harvest of smiles!

Human Pumpkin Cookie Recipe – Enjoy!
1 ½ cups brown sugar (packed)
1 tbsp. baking powder
1 cup chopped pecans
½ cup shortening
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 eggs
½ tsp. nutmeg
1 ¾ cups canned pumpkin
¼ tsp. salt
2 ¾ cups Gold Medal Flour
1 cup raisins

Heat oven to 400 degrees (mod. Hot). Mix sugar, shortening, eggs, and pumpkin thoroughly. Measure flour by sifting. Blend dry ingredients; add to pumpkin mixture, stirring until well blended. Add raisins and pecans. Drop batter by teaspoonfuls on ungreased baking sheet. Bake 12 to 15 min., or until lightly browned. Cookies may be iced when cool with a thin butter icing. Makes about 6 doz. Cookies. Note; if you use Gold Medal Self Rising Flour, omit baking powder and salt.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: This recipe is for humans ONLY! Raisins can be deadly to pets!
Sugar is not healthy for pets either even if you brush their teeth! So Keep These Goodies Away from Pets and Keep Pets and Children Out of The Kitchen!

Jill Marcinick is the Founder of The Live Safe Foundation, a non-profit organization 501c3, and leading grassroots movement, devoted to making fire safety education, awareness initiatives and life saving tools available on a broad basis to communities, campuses, and institutions in an effort to reduce national fire fatalities and fire losses. Live Safe aims to help finance fire safety education where means are otherwise unavailable. Live Safe is developing and sponsoring programs to help groups find the resources needed to advance individual and community fire safety.

Wag'N Note:
We Blogged about Jill and her sons back in October as they sponsored their local fire department. To watch the video and read more check out post Pet Oxygen Masks In The News - Wag'N To Help Make a Difference!

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