Tips for Avoiding Cooking Fires This Thanksgiving

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Thanksgiving Day is one of the most important celebrations, but did you know that it’s also the leading day for home cooking fires? That’s why Thanksgiving fire safety should be our top priority during this holiday season. So, as you begin preparing for your holiday feast, keep these fire safety tips in mind and keep yourself and your family safe.

Top Safety Tips

  • Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stove top so you can keep an eye on the food.
  • Stay in the home when cooking your turkey, and check on it frequently.
  • Keep children away from the stove. The stove will be hot and kids should stay three feet away.
  • When cooking, keep a lid nearby to smother small grease fires. Put it out by sliding the lid over the pan and then turn off the stovetop. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled. Never throw water onto a grease fire!
  • Keep flammable items, such as oven mitts, wooden utensils, towels and food packaging away from the stovetop and oven.
  • Keep matches and utility lighters out of the reach of children — up high in a cabinet.
  • Use a cooking timer to remind you when it’s time to turn off the stove or oven (or to switch the pans).
  • Make sure your smoke alarms are working. Test them by pushing the test button.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher approved for cooking and grease fires nearby.

Thanksgiving Fire Facts

  • Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires, followed by Christmas Day, the day before Thanksgiving, Easter, and Christmas Eve.
  • In 2018, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 1,630 home cooking fires on Thanksgiving, the peak day for such fires.
  • Unattended cooking was by far the leading contributing factor in cooking fires and fire deaths.
  • Cooking caused almost half of all reported home fires and home fire injuries, and it is the second leading cause of home fire deaths in 2014-2018.  

Source: NFPA’s Home Cooking Fires and Home Structure Fires reports.

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