There are more than three times as many home cooking fires on Thanksgiving as a typical day of the year, making it by far the leading day for US home cooking fires, according to the National Fire Protection Association® (NFPA®). This sharp spike (a nearly 250-percent increase over the daily average) is a powerful reminder to use caution when cooking this year’s Thanksgiving feast.   Daniel Lawson, Assistant Chief with the Campbell County Rural Service offers several safety tips for staying safe for Thanksgiving.

  • Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stovetop, so you can keep an eye on the food.
  • Stay in the home when cooking your turkey and check on it frequently.
  • Keep children away from the stove. The stove will be hot, and kids should stay three feet away.
  • Make sure kids stay away from hot food and liquids. The steam or splash from vegetables, gravy or coffee could cause serious burns.
  • Keep the floor clear so you don’t trip over kids, toys, pocketbooks or bags.
  • Keep knives out of the reach of children.
  • Be sure electric cords from an electric knife, coffee maker, plate warmer or mixer are not dangling off the counter within easy reach of a child.
  • Keep matches and utility lighters out of the reach of children, up high in a locked cabinet.
  • Never leave children alone in room with a lit candle.
  • Make sure your smoke alarms are working. Test them by pushing the test button.

“Thanksgiving is a festive but hectic holiday, where people are often preparing several dishes at once. They’re also entertaining friends and family with lots of other potential distractions,” said Lorraine Carli, NFPA’s vice president of Outreach and Advocacy. “These factors all contribute to the increased likelihood of home cooking fires and underscore the importance of being extra vigilant in the kitchen.”

According to NFPA, cooking is the leading cause of reported home fires year-round, accounting for nearly half of all US home fires (48 percent) and reported home fire injuries (45 percent), as well as one-fifth (21 percent) of home fire deaths. Unattended cooking is the leading cause of home cooking fires and fire deaths; 15 percent of the fatalities are attributed to clothing ignitions.

Carli says awareness can play a critical role in keeping Thanksgiving fire-free. “Knowing where potential cooking hazards exist and taking basic precautions to prevent them can go a long way toward ensuring a fire-safe holiday.” (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 11/21/2018-6AM)