The number of home cooking fires on Thanksgiving Day was three times the national average of fires per day in 2012, according to NFPA.
“Thanksgiving can be a whirlwind of cooking and entertaining guests,” said Lorraine Carli, vice president of communications for NFPA. “With so much multitasking taking place, fire hazards around the oven or stovetop can easily be overlooked. Cooks should be conscious of fire safety this Thanksgiving whether the menu is meant to serve two or 20.”
Cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires and related injuries.
To reduce the risk of cooking fires this holiday, NFPA recommends the following safety tips:
- Keep anything that can catch fire such as oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains away from the stovetop.
- Always stay in the kitchen while frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you have to leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
- When simmering, baking, roasting, or boiling food, check it regularly, remain in the home while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.
- Stay alert. If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol, don’t use the stove or stovetop.
If you have a cooking fire…
- Just get out! When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire.
- Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number after you leave.
- If you try to fight the fire, be sure others are getting out and you have a clear path (to your way out of the home and someone has called the fire department).
- Keep a lid nearby when cooking to smother small grease fires. Smother the fire by sliding the lid over the pan and turn off the stovetop. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.
- For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.
The kitchen is the heart of the home especially at Thanksgiving. Safety in the kitchen is important, especially on Thanksgiving Day when there is a lot of activity and people at home.
Here are some general safety tips
- Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stovetop 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 children should be 3 feet away
- Make sure kids stay away from hot foods and liquids. The steam, or splash from vegetables, gravy or coffee could cause serious burns
- Keep knives out of reach of children
- Be sure electric cords from an electric knife, coffee maker, plate warmer or mixer are not dangling off the counter within easy reach of a child
- Keep matches and utility lighters out of reach of children – up high in a locked cabinet
- Never leave children alone in a room with a lit candle
- Make sure your smoke alarms are working. Test them by pushing the “Test” button on the detector
- Have activities outside that keep kids out of the kitchen during these busy times. Games, puzzles or books can keep them busy.