DENVER (KDVR) — It may not be a surprise that cooking fires increase dramatically on Thanksgiving, but how many more household fires occur on Thanksgiving compared to any other day?
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) urged cooks to be a little extra cautious when cooking on Thanksgiving Day, as it is by far the leading day of the year for home cooking fires.
According to the NFPA, cooking is always the leading cause of house fires and injuries and the second-leading cause of home fire deaths.
Cooking is the cause of more than half of all reported home fires, but it spikes on Thanksgiving Day. According to the NFPA, there were 1,160 home cooking fires reported to fire departments across the U.S. on Thanksgiving Day in 2021.
That accounts for a 297% increase compared to the daily average.
“Thanksgiving is a hectic holiday, with multiple dishes cooking and baking at the same time, along with lots of guests, entertaining, and other distractions that can make it easy to lose sight of what’s on the stove or in the oven,” Lorraine Carli with the NFPA said.
With the holiday coming up, the NFPA offered these tips to avoid fire while preparing a feast:
- Never leave the kitchen while cooking on the stovetop.
- Stay home while cooking a turkey, and check it regularly.
- Use timers to keep track of cooking times.
- Keep flammable items at least three feet away from the cooking area (oven mitts, wood spoons, wrappers, etc.)
- Avoid long sleeves and hanging fabric.
- Keep a lid near the pan while cooking.
- Keep children and pets at least 3 feet away from hot surfaces and foods.
- Keep hot foods and liquids away from table edges.
What to do if grease catches fire
NFPA said cooks can smother the flames of a small grease fire by sliding a lid over the pan and turning off the burner. Don’t remove the lid and let it cool.
Never throw water on a grease fire.
What to do if oven catches fire
NFPA recommended turning off the heat and keeping the door closed. Only open it when you are confident the fire is completely out, and stand to the side of the door.
If you have any doubts or concerns, NFPA said to call the fire department for help.
Additionally, NFPA strongly discouraged using turkey fryers that use cooking oil, as it can cause devastating burns. NFPA recommended buying a fried turkey or buying a fryer that does not use oil instead.
The same statistics and tips apply for the coming holidays. The NFPA reported that Christmas Day and Christmas Eve ranked second and third when it comes to the most home cooking fires, each with nearly twice the daily average.