More than three times as many home cooking fires occur on Thanksgiving Day than on a typical day of the year, according to the latest U.S. Home Cooking Fires Report recently released by NFPA. The report shows that there were 1,600 reported fires on Thanksgiving in 2017, reflecting a 238 percent increase over the daily average. Unattended cooking was the leading cause of these fires.
NFPA offers a number of tips and recommendations for cooking safely this Thanksgiving:
•Never leave the kitchen while cooking on the stovetop. Some types of cooking, especially those that involve frying or sautéing with oil, need continuous attention.
•When cooking a turkey, stay in your home and check on it regularly.
•Make use of timers to keep track of cooking times, particularly for foods that require longer cook times.
•Keep things that can catch fire like oven mitts, wooden utensils, food wrappers, and towels at least three feet away from the cooking area.
•Avoid long sleeves and hanging fabrics that could come in contact with a heat source.
•Always cook with a lid beside your pan. If you have a fire, slide the lid over the pan and turn off the burner. Do not remove the cover because the fire could start again. Let the pan cool for a long time. Never throw water or use a fire extinguisher on the fire.
•For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed. Only open the door once you’re confident the fire is completely out, standing to the side as you do. If you have any doubts or concerns, contact the fire department for assistance.
•Keep children at least three feet away from the stove. Kids should also stay away from hot foods and liquids, as steam or splash from these items could cause severe burns.
The Thanksgiving section of the NFPA website offers these and other tips for keeping fire safety top of mind during the holiday.