Thanksgiving Turkey

Happy Thanksgiving! Keep an Eye on What’s Cooking

Roseville, Calif. – If harnessing your inner chef with creative culinary skills this Thanksgiving is at the top of your holiday to-do list, make sure you don’t leave your cooking area unattended so that cooking accidents can be avoided.

According to FEMA’s National Data Center, cooking is the leading cause of all Thanksgiving Day fires and more than half (54%) of these fires occurred between 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., when many people are preparing Thanksgiving dinner.


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“Thanksgiving Day is one of our busiest days responding to home cooking fires, and we want to reduce that number by practicing fire safety,” said Chief Thom Porter, CAL FIRE Director. “There are so many things that can happen in your kitchen while you are preparing meals, and it is easy to become distracted while cooking for family and friends. On Thanksgiving Day, with all the commotion near hot appliances, make sure to always stand next to the oven or stove when you are cooking to avoid any mishaps in the kitchen.”

Per the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires, followed by the day before Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and Christmas Eve. Unattended cooking is the leading contributing factor in cooking fires, with Thanksgiving having four-times the average number. Ranges or cooktops were involved in 61% of reported home cooking fires.

Thanksgiving Turkey being prepared

Tips to reduce the chance of fire and injuries associated with cooking fires

  • Remain in the kitchen while you’re cooking, and keep a close eye on what you are cooking! Always stay in the kitchen while frying, grilling or broiling food. If you have to leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove. Regularly check on food that is simmering, baking or roasting, and use a timer to remind you that you’re cooking.
  • Turn pot handles toward the back of the stove. Someone walking by is less likely to bump them or pull them over.
  • Keep children away from the stove. The stove will be hot and kids should stay 3 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.
  • When using a turkey fryer, be sure to follow instructions closely. Don’t exceed the recommended oil level and only use the device outdoors!
  • Make sure a fire extinguisher is handy at all times. Never use water to put out a grease fire.
  • Ensure you have working smoke alarms installed in your home.

For more cooking fire information, visit https://www.nfpa.org/cooking.

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