Get Thanksgiving Dinner on the Table Safely

Did you know that cooking fires in homes and apartments occur more often on Thanksgiving Day than any other day of the year?

In recent years, an average of 2,300 homes or apartment fires were reported to fire departments in the U.S. on Thanksgiving Day. These fires caused an estimated annual average of 5 deaths, 25 injuries and $26 million in property loss. 

Cooking was, by far, the leading cause of all Thanksgiving Day fires in these residential buildings at 74 percent, followed by heating at 8 percent.  Over half of Thanksgiving Day fires in homes and apartments occurred between 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., when many people are preparing Thanksgiving dinner. Fires then declined throughout the evening. This stands in contrast to the rest of the year, when homes and apartments fires peaked during “normal” dinnertime hours of 5 to 8 p.m.

 Smoke detectors are the single most important life-saving device. In order for them to help save your life, they need to be properly installed and maintained. 

You can prevent cooking fires by taking a few safety steps to keep your family safe! 
  1. Clean cooking equipment after each use. Crumbs in a toaster or grease on the stove can catch on fire.
  2. Stand by your pan: If you leave the kitchen, turn the burner off.
  3. Watch what you are cooking: Fires start when the heat is too high. If you see any smoke or the grease starts to boil, turn the burner off.
  4. Turn pot handles toward the back of the stove: Then no one can bump them or pull them over.
  5. Use your turkey fryer outdoors only, on a sturdy, level surface well away from anything that can burn. Make sure the turkey is completely thawed before frying, checking the temperature often to ensure that the oil won’t overheat.
  6. If you have a fire in your oven, turn the oven off and keep the door closed until it is cool. If flames escape it, leave your home and call 911.
  7. Keep a pan lid or baking sheet nearby: Use it to cover the pan if it catches on fire. This will put out the fire.
  8. Use gloves to protect your hands and arms when you handle pots, pans, lids and handles of a turkey fryer.
 For more fire safety tips, visit the US Fire Administration website. 
Smoke detectors save lives by alerting occupants of a fire before poisonous gases and deadly smoke reach them.  By giving you time to escape, smoke detectors cut your risk of dying in a home fire nearly in half.