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Thanksgiving Cooks Serve up a Side of Safety to Loved Ones

Taste and safety should go hand-in-hand; look for Underwriters

Laboratories' safety Mark and have a safer Thanksgiving

NORTHBROOK, Ill., Nov. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- If you are like most Thanksgiving chefs, you find a way to create culinary magic while working in potentially perilous conditions; children dashing through the kitchen; pots bubbling away on the stove-top; and recipes scattered across kitchen countertops. If this sounds familiar -- perhaps it comes as no surprise then to learn that Thanksgiving is reported to be the peak day of the year for kitchen fires.

Underwriters Laboratories (UL), one of the world's leading product safety testing organizations, reminds consumers that when the time comes to spend hours roasting a Thanksgiving turkey and crafting the customary fixings, no tradition -- no matter how delicious -- is worth sacrificing the safety of your family.

"Whether baking, roasting or frying the family turkey this year, UL urges consumers to evaluate appliances wisely," said John Drengenberg, consumer affairs manager of Underwriters Laboratories. "Some electric cooking products that hit holiday shelves may claim to make Thanksgiving Day a breeze. But before bringing any item to the cashier and into your kitchen, be sure it has been tested and certified for safety."

For everything from electric knives to slow cookers to food processors, the easiest way to make sure you have a safer product is to look for an accredited safety mark, like the UL Mark. The UL Mark is one of the most widely recognized and trusted symbols of safety among consumers, and confirms a product has been tested and certified to meet specific safety standards.

UL also points out that while some cooking items meet the applicable safety standards and receive certification, others have been deemed unsafe overall and refused the UL Mark. One of the more popular but most notorious items is the turkey fryer. Because turkey fryers pose a number of distinct safety concerns, including burn and fire hazards, UL has decided not to certify any turkey fryers. If a family decides they must use a turkey fryer this Thanksgiving, UL urges them to be extremely cautious.

In addition to seeking out cooking appliances with the UL Mark, UL suggests family chefs follow these tips to be safer when preparing Thanksgiving dinner:

-- SMOKE ALARMS: Never disconnect a smoke alarm while cooking.

-- REMAIN IN THE KITCHEN: Unattended cooking remains a leading cause of

home fires. Carry an oven mitt with you if you leave the kitchen as

a reminder that something is cooking on the stove.


Leave a bowl of snacks in the living room or family room to keep

children away from the kitchen.

-- DRESS THE PART: Tie hair back and wear short, close fitting or

tightly rolled sleeves when cooking. Loose clothing can dangle onto

burners and catch fire.

-- STEAM SHIELD: When removing pot and pan lids, tilt them away from

you to protect your face and hands from steam.

-- BE SURE POT HANDLES ARE OUT OF REACH: Turn the handles of pots and

pans toward the back of the stove where children cannot reach them.

-- THE OVEN IS FOR THE TURKEY: Never use the oven to heat a room. It

could pose a fire risk or carbon monoxide poisoning hazard to your


-- KEEP A FIRE EXINGUISHER ON HAND: Keep a multi-purpose fire

extinguisher handy in the event of a grease fire. Read the

directions carefully before use.

-- SMALL RANGE-TOP FIRES: In the event of a small range-top fire, stay

calm and follow these steps:

1. Turn off the stove.

2. Put on an oven mitt.

3. Smother the flames by carefully sliding a lid onto the pan.

4. Leave the lid in place until the pot or pan has completely


Caution: Never use water or flour to extinguish a grease fire and

never carry the pan outside, as you could spread flames

throughout the house.

-- GET OUT AND STAY OUT: If you cannot immediately put out the fire

yourself, gather your family and leave the home, call 9-1-1 and wait

in a safe area for fire authorities to arrive. Do not attempt to put

the fire out yourself, as a fire can double in size every 30


About Underwriters Laboratories

Underwriters Laboratories (UL) is an independent product safety certification organization that has been testing products and writing Standards for Safety for over a century. UL evaluates more than 19,000 types of products, components, materials and systems annually with 21 billion UL Marks appearing on 72,000 manufacturers' products each year. UL's worldwide family of companies and network of service providers includes 63 laboratory, testing and certification facilities serving customers in 99 countries. For more information, visit:

Media Contact:

Tina Janczura

Golin Harris for UL

Phone: +1.312.729.4349


SOURCE Underwriters Laboratories
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

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