Risk for Home Fires Increases on Thanksgiving

According to the American Red Cross and the National Fire Protection Association, cooking is the leading cause of home fires on Thanksgiving Day. Cooking fires nearly double on Thanksgiving Day, and cause more property damage and claim more lives than home fires on other days throughout the year.

Many Americans do not realize that home fires are the single most common danger in the home, and that the risk increases dramatically on Thanksgiving Day. The Red Cross offers some tips on how to stay safe in the kitchen and reduce your risk of fire.

  1. Do not leave food unattended when you are frying, grilling or broiling food. If you need to leave the kitchen even briefly, turn off the stove.
  2. Stay home while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that the stove or oven is on.
  3. Check food regularly.
  4. Do not wear loose clothing or dangling sleeves while you are cooking.
  5. Keep children away from cooking areas.
  6. Keep flammable items including potholders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, towels or curtains away from your stovetop and oven or any other kitchen appliance that generates heat.
  7. If you use a turkey fryer, make sure you only use it outdoors and in an open area away from other structures, fences or flammable items. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and exercise extreme caution.
  8. Turn the handles of pots and pans on the stove inward to avoid accidents.
  9. Install a smoke alarm in your kitchen and check it regularly to make sure it is in good working condition.
  10. Before going to bed on Thanksgiving night, check the house for burning candles or smoking materials, and make sure that all appliances and cooking implements are turned off or cooled down.

It takes only a brief moment for something to catch fire or someone to get burned. Take care on Thanksgiving Day to avoid fires and other accidents.