Did you know that cooking equipment fires are the leading cause of house fires in the U.S.? And guess which day of the year typically has three times as many cooking fires than any other? Yep, it’s good ol’ Thanksgiving.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), unattended cooking was by far the greatest contributor to cooking equipment fires. We’ve all been guilty of walking away from something cooking on the stove for ‘just a second”, but that really isn’t wise.
“Thanksgiving is a holiday of feasting, but it’s also a day of intense cooking, when stovetops and ovens are working overtime,” says Lorraine Carli, NFPA’s vice president of communications. “These culinary activities bring an increased risk of fire particularly when people are trying to prepare several dishes while entertaining friends and family.”
Here are some tips from the NFPA to help make your Thanksgiving Day a safe one:
Cook with caution:
- Be on alert! If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol, don’t use the stove or stovetop.
- Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
- If you are 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.
- Keep anything that can catch fire — oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains — away from your 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 way out.
- Keep a lid nearby when you’re 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.
I hope these tips are helpful and that your Thanksgiving Day is truly one to be thankful for. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!