Nov 23, 2022 - Food and Drink

Fires spike on the Thanksgiving holiday

Firefighters putting out house fire

Firefighters work to open the roof of a burning house. Photo: Ty O'Neil/via Getty Images

If you are tackling a home-cooked meal this Thanksgiving, take note:

  • Never use your turkey fryer in the kitchen. Don't get distracted with a bunch of burners and the oven going at the same time. Keep mitts, wrappers, towels and loose sleeves away from the stovetop.

Driving the news: Thanksgiving is the most fire-prone day of the year and the peak day for home cooking fires, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

  • More than three times the number of daily average house fires are reported on Thanksgiving, the NFPA reports.
  • Other common causes for turkey day fires are faulty wiring or outlets and dirty fireplaces and chimneys, according to Travelers.
  • Overall, unattended cooking causes half of all reported home fires, NFPA reports.
  • It is the second leading cause of home fire deaths (20%).
  • Christmas Day and Christmas Eve ranked second and third respectively, NFPA says, with both having nearly twice the daily average of reported fires.

Be smart: Here are tips for cooking safe from the Washington state Fire Marshal's Office and the NFPA:

  • Stay in the kitchen while cooking on the stovetop. Stay at home when cooking in the oven. Set a timer and check on things regularly.
  • Keep lids or a metal cookie sheet handy to smother the fire should one erupt on the range. Turn off the burner, and let the pan cool completely.
  • For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed until cool.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen.
  • Keep children and pets at least 3 feet away from the stove and areas where hot food is being prepared.
  • Make sure your smoke alarms are working. Test them by pushing the test button.

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