Everyone loves a good party, but it's important to remember that safety remains the priority of the day when you choose to host friends, there is drinking involved and you want to serve food. Throughout September and October, NFPA is providing weekly blog posts about campus fire safety and the things you can do to keep yourself and others safe from harm.
This week, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Keep anything that can catch fire — oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains — away from your stovetop. This also means things like pizza boxes! It's easy to toss these boxes across counters and the stove when you're in a rush to serve. But keep in mind that pizza boxes left on a burner that is on or cooling off is a recipe for disaster, as a fire can ignite immediately.
- Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove. We all like to be the hit of the party, but when you're the host and preparing food, make it a priority to stay put while you cook. If for any reason your guests want to pull you away, make sure you turn off the stove and place all pot handles inward so your guests (or you) don't knock them to the floor or spill hot liquid or food onto anything that can catch fire.
- And always, always, always ... be on alert! If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol don’t use the stove or oven. Drinking alcohol impairs your judgment and your fine motor skills. But if you just can't resist your friend's favorite cocktail, opt for foods that are easy to prepare and don't require a stove or oven.
For these and other campus fire safety tips, check out NFPA's campus and dorm fire safety web page or download our cooking safety checklist for quick reference. So go ahead, enjoy the party but remember, safety comes first!