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5 tips for cooking up a safe, healthy family Thanksgiving

(AP Photo)

Everyone knows that cooking equipment can be dangerous if handled improperly.

The National Fire Protection Association reports that unsafe cooking is the leading cause of home fires and injuries. So how do you prevent those sorts of disasters over the Thanksgiving holiday? Here are five key tips:

  • Keep an eye on the action. Stay in the kitchen when using the stovetop and don’t leave the house when roasting turkey or any foods in the oven.
  • Shoo the kids away from the kitchen, if possible. The stove is too hot to touch and it’s possible for children to get splashed with hot liquids. Have someone entertain them in another room.
  • Set a timer to remind you to be alert and then set it again and again. You have to keep checking on foods that are in and on the stove. Don’t be distracted by your smartphone or your email or the football game on the TV in the next room.
  • Store pot holders, paper or plastic bags, towels and flammable objects safely away from the stove top.
  • Be sure smoke alarms are in good working condition – and within 10 feet of cooking equipment. Test those batteries.

Other important ways to stay safe and healthy throughout the holidays involve food preparation:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly and often while preparing foods.
  • Wash all fresh produce, even greens that come in bags.
  • Properly defrost your turkey – either in a cold-water bath that’s changed every 30 minutes or in the refrigerator.
  • Use a thermometer while cooking to make sure that turkeys and other foods reach the proper temperature – at least 165 degrees – in order to kill potential bacteria. Refrigerate leftovers within two hours of preparation.

For more tips, help and information for your house, home, castle or cabin, visit Arizona’s largest collection of homeowner DIY advice and information at

And if you are in need of a quality contractor you can trust, visit our list of Arizona’s very best contractors or service providers for your home improvement projects at, Arizona’s most trusted referral network.

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