Red Lights For Firefighters Thanksgiving Fire Safety and Cooking Safety.



This is our vast collection of Thanksgiving Fire Safety and Cooking Safety articles, some we wrote, but most are curated from the NFPA, USFA and other sources.

Please be safe and have a Happy Thanksgiving.

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Following These Tips for Turkey Will Make Your Thanksgiving Dinner Safer

NFPA's Thanksgiving safety tips will help ensure your family has a fire-safe holiday.

For most, the kitchen is the heart of the home, especially during the holidays. From testing family recipes to decorating cakes and cookies, everyone enjoys being part of the preparations. So keeping fire safety top of mind in the kitchen during this joyous but hectic time is important, especially when there’s a lot of activity and people at home. As you start preparing your holiday schedule and organizing that large family feast, remember, by following a few simple safety tips you can enjoy time with your loved ones and keep yourself and your family safer from fire.

Seasonal Fire Causes Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving fire facts

• Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires, followed by Christmas Day, Christmas Eve, and the day before Thanksgiving. • In 2017, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 1,600 home cooking fires on Thanksgiving, the peak day for such fires. • Unattended cooking was by far the leading contributing factor in cooking fires and fire deaths. • Cooking equipment was involved in almost half of all reported home fires and home fire injuries, and it is the second leading cause of home fire deaths. Source: NFPA's Fire Applied Research Division



If you have a cooking fire

• Just get out! When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire.

• Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number after you leave.

• If you try to fight the fire, be sure others are getting out and you have a clear way out.

• Keep a lid nearby when you’re cooking to smother small grease fires. Smother the fire by sliding the lid over the pan and turn off the stovetop. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.

• For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.



What you should know about home cooking safety

• Be on alert! If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol, don’t use the stove or stovetop.

• Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, boiling, or broiling food.

• If you are simmering, baking, or roasting food, check it regularly, remain in the kitchen while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.

• Keep anything that can catch fire — oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains — away from your stovetop.



Safety considerations for cooking with oil

• Always stay in the kitchen when frying on the stovetop.

• Keep an eye on what you fry. If you see wisps of smoke or the oil smells, immediately turn off the burner and/or carefully remove the pan from the burner. Smoke is a danger sign that the oil is too hot.

• Heat the oil slowly to the temperature you need for frying or sautéing.

• Add food gently to the pot or pan so the oil does not splatter.

• 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.

• If the fire does not go out or you don’t feel comfortable sliding a lid over the pan, get everyone out of your home. Call the fire department from outside.



Cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries.

• Keep an eye on what you fry. Most cooking fires start when someone is frying food.

• 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.

• Make sure you are awake and alert. Alcohol and some drugs can make you sleepy.

• Wear short sleeves or roll them up so they don’t catch on fire.

• Make sure children and pets stay at least 3 feet away from a hot stove.

• Turn pot handles toward the back of the stove so no one can bump them or pull them over.

• Move things that can burn away from the stove. This includes dishtowels, bags, boxes, paper and curtains.



Cooking fire facts

Based on 2013-2017 annual averages:

• Cooking equipment is the leading cause of home* fires and fire injuries, causing 49% of home fires that resulted in 21% of the home fire deaths and 45% of the injuries.

• Two-thirds (66%) of home cooking fires start with the ignition of food or other cooking materials.

• Clothing is the item first ignited in less than 1% of these fires, but clothing ignitions lead to 14% of the home cooking equipment fire deaths.

• Ranges or cooktops account for almost two-thirds (62%) of home cooking fire incidents.

• Unattended equipment is a factor in one-third (31%) of reported home cooking fires and half (48%) of the associated deaths.

• Frying dominates the cooking fire problem.

• Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires, followed by Christmas Day and Christmas Eve.



NFPA Report - Home Cooking Fires

Report highlights

• US fire departments responded to an estimated average of 173,200 home structure fires per year started by cooking activities in 2013-2017, or an average of 470 home cooking fires per day. These fires caused an average of 550 civilian deaths, 5,020 reported civilian fire injuries, and $1.2 billion in direct property damage per year.

• Home fires caused by cooking peaked at Thanksgiving and Christmas.

• Ranges or cooktops were involved in the 62% of reported home cooking fires, 89% of cooking fire deaths and 79% of cooking fire injuries.

• Households that use electric ranges have a higher risk of cooking fires and associated losses than those using gas ranges.

• Unattended cooking was the leading cause of cooking fires and casualties. Clothing was the item first ignited in less than 1% of these fires, but clothing ignitions led to 14% of the home cooking fire deaths.

• Almost one-third (30%) of the people killed by cooking fires were sleeping at the time. More than half (53%) of the non-fatal injuries occurred when people tried to control the fire themselves.

NFPA report - Home cooking fires

Top 10 safety tips

• Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stove top 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 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.

• Keep the floor clear so you don’t trip over kids, toys, pocketbooks or bags.

• Make sure your smoke alarms are working. Test them by pushing the test button.

Prevent Fire.com Oven and Stove Top Safety

NFPA joins CPSC to demonstrate the fire dangers of turkey fryers in this live burn.

NFPA strongly discourages the use of turkey fryers.
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What You Should Know About Home Cooking Safety

Stay in the kitchen when you fry, boil, grill or broil food.

Wear short, close fitting or tightly rolled sleeves when cooking.

Have a 3-foot safety zone around stoves and grills.

Never hold a child while you are cooking or carrying hot liquids.

Treat a burn right away by putting it in cool water for 3 to 5 minutes. Cover with a clean, dry cloth. Do not apply creams, ointments, sprays or other home remedies. Get medical help right away by calling 911 or the fire department.



Keep anything that can catch fire — paper towels, oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels and curtains — away from your stove top.



Turn pot handles away from the stove’s edge. Always keep a lid nearby when you cook. If a small grease fire starts in a pan, slide the pan lid over the pan. Turn off the burner. Do not move the pan. To keep the fire from restarting, leave the lid on until the pan has cooled.



Plug microwave ovens or other cooking appliances directly into a wall outlet. Never use an extension cord for a cooking appliance. Check electrical cords for cracks, breaks or damage.



If you have a fire in your microwave oven, turn it off immediately. Never open the door until the fire is out.



If you have a fire in your oven, turn it off. Let the contents cool before cleaning.

If you have a fire in your oven and the flames escape the oven, leave your home and call 911.



Clean cooking equipment after each use. Crumbs in a toaster or grease on the stove can catch on fire.


Vulnerable Segment Of The US Population On Thanksgiving Day

The most vulnerable segment of the US population to die in a fire, especially during the holidays and most important Thanksgiving is Children, College students, Older adults, and People with disabilities. These are the ones at risk for burns, cuts, leaving something burning or cooking on the stove or in the oven. They are also the ones who are more apt to be overcome by smoke in a fire and die.

• Please keep kids and pets away while you’re cooking.

• If someone has memory issues, stay with them while they cook or cook for them.

• Stop by and check on the elderly and disabled.

• Make sure you have working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in your home.

• Make sure you have the detectors in the proper locations and have enough.

• Check that elderly and disabled have working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in their homes.

• Plan multiple routes of escape have a minimum of two ways, no matter where you are.



Have a very safe and Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Red Lights For Firefighters.


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