Fire-Free Family Gatherings
Did you know that home cooking fires peak on major U.S. holidays that traditionally involve cooking? During big family gatherings, it’s easy to be distracted by the holiday hubbub. Here are a few tips to keep your family celebration from going up in flames.
- Don’t let too many cooks spoil your holiday. Avoid overcrowding the kitchen and doing too many things at once. Keep children out of the kitchen if possible, and make sure to watch them closely when they are present.
- Be alert when cooking. If you’re sleepy or have consumed alcohol, avoid using the stove and oven. Set timers and don’t leave anything unattended.
- Keep flammable items — such as oven mitts, kitchen towels, wooden utensils, food wrappers and curtains — away from your cooking area.
- Be careful when frying anything. In the event of a small grease fire, smother the flames by sliding a lid over the pan and turning off the burner. Remove lid once completely cooled.
- Small oven fires can be put out by turning off the heat the keeping the door closed.
- Sometimes it is possible for you to put out small fires on your own. If you have any doubts about doing so, evacuate immediately — closing the door behind you to contain the flames — and call 911.
Easter Egg Safety 101
- Dyed or decorated eggs — and the ensuing hunt — are a big part of many families’ Easter celebrations. We love this fun and creative celebration. But it’s important to remember that eggs can spoil quickly and cause serious illness if consumed. A few things to keep in mind:
- Do not use eggs that have been cracked or broken. Inspect your eggs before purchasing and keep them refrigerated until you’re ready to use them.
- Hard boiling eggs before giving them to children to dye is a good way to avoid handling raw eggs — and avoid a potential mess!
- If you plan to eat any of your decorated eggs, be sure to use food-grade dyes. It’s generally safe to use commercial egg dyes, liquid food coloring, drink mixes and fruits/vegetables to color your eggs.
- Eggs that have been left unrefrigerated for more than two hours, either as part of an egg hunt or another display, should not be eaten. Consider making a second batch to serve your guests. Un-cracked hard-boiled eggs will stay fresh for one week if refrigerated.
- When setting up your hunt, avoid hiding eggs near outlets or plugs, in hard-to-reach areas and near glass or other breakables. If hiding outside, be sure to place eggs away from dirt, chemicals and animals. Don’t hide eggs in pre-existing holes or trees, or near any plant that you can’t identify. Keep count of the eggs you’ve hidden!
Easter Candy Considerations
What’s Easter without a little jelly bean-fueled sugar high? Finding a basket of goodies left by the Easter Bunny is a great treat for children of all ages. Prevent choking hazards by giving out age-appropriate candies and being watchful of little ones at all times. It’s also important to be mindful of any food allergies your guests may have. Check with parents before offering any chocolate bunnies or other candies that could contain nuts.
Pet-Proof Your Easter Festivities
We can’t forget our four-legged friends! Make sure that Fido and Fluffy also get to enjoy their Easter celebrations — by keeping them away from known hazards and toxins.
- Most pet owners know that the chemicals in chocolate can be lethal to both dogs and cats, causing cardiac failure, seizures, coma and death if not treated quickly. This is just your friendly reminder to keep all those tempting treats out of their reach!
- Lilies are a favorite Easter bloom. But did you know that these flowers can be toxic to cats if ingested? Even a small amount can cause kidney failure and, if left untreated, death. Look for signs of vomiting, lethargy and lack of appetite, and be sure to contact your vet immediately if you think your cat may have eaten part of one of these plants.
- Easter basket “grass” and foil candy wrappers are NOT digestible and should be kept away from pets to avoid choking, strangulation and internal obstruction
- Table scraps and trash should be kept out of reach to avoid choking hazards and potential tummy troubles for your pets — no fun to have to deal with that, especially on an already-hectic day.
We hope you have a happy and SAFE Easter weekend!