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 almost three times as many occurring on Thanksgiving as any other day of the year.
Each year, on average, around 2,000 residential building fires are reported to fire departments in the U.S. on Thanksgiving Day. These fires cause deaths, injuries, and millions in property loss. We all know that on that big day, the kitchen becomes the heart of many homes, and that’s why it’s so important to be extra careful when cooking all those delicious extras. So, as you begin preparing for your family dinner, keep these 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 never leave the house.
- Alcohol (or drowsiness) and cooking don’t mix! Don’t use the stove or stovetop if you are too sleepy or have consumed alcohol.
- Use a cooking timer to remind you when it’s time to turn off the stove or oven (or to switch the pans).
- Don’t wear loose-fitting clothing 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.
- 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!
- Have a fire extinguisher in the kitchen for extra prevention.
- 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.
- 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. Become familiar with 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. Practice your home fire drill routinely.
How to Prevent Turkey Fryer Fires and Injuries
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) discourages 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. Ahead of time, test the turkey in the pot with water to determine the correct amount of oil you will need.
- 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.
- Keep a fire extinguisher nearby. Never ever use water to put out a fire in a fryer.
In the Event of a Cooking Fire:
- If it’s an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.
- For a stovetop fire, put a lid on it and turn off the elements.
- If the fire is out of control, get everyone out of the house and close the door behind you to help contain it.
- Call 911 or the local emergency number from outside the home.
- If you try using the fire extinguisher, make sure others are getting out and that you have a clear path out of the home. Have someone call the fire department at the same time.
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Following these Thanksgiving fire safety tips can help you have a safe and wonderful celebration with friends and family. Yet, disasters can still occur when you least expect them. If you’ve experienced a fire, you’ll need fire damage cleanup services urgently. For professional smoke remediation and fire damage repair, contact PuroClean of Meadow Woods at (407) 751-1677.