National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) (11/18/19)— In a recent news release, the National Fire Protection Association has compiled statistics on the frequency of home cooking fires on Thanksgiving Day and a helpful list of prevention tips.
According to the NFPA, Thanksgiving Day is the leading day for U.S. home cooking fires, with three times the amount as any other typical day.
On Thanksgiving in 2017, there were 1,600 reported home fires, which is 238% over the daily average, to which unattended cooking was the leading cause.
“With people preparing multiple dishes, often with lots of guests and other distractions in and around the kitchen, it’s easy to see why the number of home cooking fires increases so dramatically. Fortunately, the vast majority of cooking fires are highly preventable with a little added awareness, and by taking simple steps to minimize those risks.”Lorraine Carli, NFPA’s vice president of Outreach and Advocacy.
According to the NFPA report, there were more cooking fire deaths in 2013-2017 than there were in 1980-1984, despite the fact that total home fire deaths had fallen by 46% in that period.
The following is a list of fire prevention tips for this holiday season:
- Never leave the kitchen while cooking on the stove top, especially when it involves frying or sauteing with oil.
- When cooking a turkey, always stay in your home and check on it regularly.
- Always make use of timers, especially on foods that have longer cooking times.
- Keep things like oven mitts, wooden utensils, food wrappers, towels, or any other flammable items at least three feet away from the cooking area.
- Avoid wearing anything with long sleeves, hanging fabrics, or frayed or torn cloth that could come in contact with a heat source.
- Always keep a lid beside your pan. If a fire breaks out, slide the lid over the pan and turn off the heat source. Do not remove the cover, as the fire could start again. Never throw water or use a fire extinguisher on the fire.
- In the event of an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door completely closed. Do not open the door until you’re completely confident the fire is out.
- Keep children at least three feet away from any heat sources or cooking areas. Also keep them away from any hot foods or liquids, as steam or splashing from them can cause severe burns.
The NFPA also discourages the use of turkey fryers in the home, as these appliances can lead to severe burns, injuries, and property damage. The NFPA recommends grocery stores, food retailers, or restaurants that sell deep fried turkey as a safer alternative.