Thanksgiving Day is one of our 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 celebration.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), Thanksgiving Day is the leading day for home cooking fires, with three times as many occurring on Thanksgiving as any other day of the year.
Each year between 2014 and 2016, about 2,400 residential building fires were reported to fire departments in the U.S. on Thanksgiving Day. These fires caused an estimated 5 deaths, 25 injuries and $19 million in property loss.
We all know that on Thanksgiving, the kitchen becomes the heart of the house, and that is why it is very important to be extra careful when cooking. So, as you begin preparing for your family dinner, keep these Thanksgiving fire safety tips in mind.
Thanksgiving fire safety tips
- Stay in the kitchen while frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you have to leave the kitchen even for a few minutes, turn off the stove.
- When cooking your turkey, check on it frequently and don’t leave the house.
- Alcohol (or drowsiness) and cooking don’t mix! Don’t use the stove or stovetop if you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol.
- Use a cooking timer to remind you when to turn off the stove or oven.
- Wear tight clothes and roll up your sleeves when cooking. If you have long hair, tie it back.
- Keep flammable things, such as oven mitts, wooden utensils, your clothing or food packaging, away from the stovetop.
- Keep a lid nearby when cooking 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 over a grease fire!
- Have a fire extinguisher in the kitchen for extra prevention.
- Keep the kitchen floor clean and clear of objects to avoid trips or falls.
- Keep children and pets at least three feet away from a hot stove, hot food and liquids. The steam or splash from vegetables, gravy or coffee can cause serious burns.
- Even though kids love to be involved in holiday preparations, it is best to have activities such as games, puzzles or books that keep them out of the kitchen during this busy time.
- Make sure electric cords aren’t dangling off the counter within easy reach of children or pets.
- Keep matches and utility lighters up high in a locked cabinet and out of the reach of children.
- Use battery-operated candles instead of real candles. Learn more candle fire safety tips.
- Ensure your smoke alarms are working by testing them at least once a month and replacing batteries once a year.
- Review your home fire escape plan with the whole family and tell your visitors about it. Mark two exits out of each room and practice your fire drill routinely.
How to prevent turkey fryer fires and injuries
Note that the NFPA discourages the use of outdoor gas-fueled turkey fryers that immerse the turkey in hot oil. They also urge those who prefer deep-fried turkey to consider the new type of “oil-less turkey fryer”. However, if you still prefer the traditional hot oil fryers, consider these safety tips:
- Only use your turkey fryer outdoors on a sturdy, level surface well away from people, pets, and combustible things.
- Don’t overfill the cooking pot. First place the turkey in the pot with water. This allows you to determine the correct amount of oil needed.
- Ensure your turkey is completely defrosted before you fry it to prevent hot oil from splattering.
- Use a cooking thermometer to check the temperature of your fryer as it can easily overheat and start a fire.
- Wear long cooking gloves to protect your hands when handling the turkey fryer.
If you have a cooking fire:
- Get out of the house and close the door behind you to help contain the fire.
- Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number from outside the home.
- If you try to fight the fire using the fire extinguisher, make sure others are getting out and you have a clear path out of the home. Also, ask that someone calls the fire department.
- For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.
For professional fire damage restoration, contact PuroClean!
Following these Thanksgiving safety tips can help you have a safe and have a wonderful celebration with friends and family. Yet, disasters can occur when you least expect. If you’ve experienced a fire, you’ll need fire damage cleanup services urgently. For professional smoke remediation and fire damage repair, contact your local PuroClean office.