Westmont, Illinois - Date Issued: November 16, 2020
Thanksgiving is approaching and that means many people will be working overtime in their kitchens. According to National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) data, cooking is the leading cause of home fires and related injuries. Annually, U.S. fire departments respond to more than 160,000 home fires involving cooking equipment.
Thanksgiving is the leading day for home fires involving cooking equipment, with four times the average number occurring. Ranges and cook-tops account for almost three out of every five home fires reported involving cooking, with ovens accounting for 13% of those fires.
“Thanksgiving is a time for family and friends to celebrate. The last thing we want to see are holiday festivities ruined by an accident or fire,” said Fire Chief Steve Riley. “Here are some safety tips to help ensure you have a safe and happy Thanksgiving.”
- Never leave food that you are frying, boiling, grilling or broiling unattended.
- If you leave the kitchen, even for a short amount of time, turn off the stove.
- Create a “Kid Free Zone” of at least three feet around the stove or anywhere you are preparing hot food or drinks.
- Keep anything that can catch fire away from the stove top.
- If you are simmering, baking, or roasting food, check it regularly, remain in the home while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you when the food is ready.
- If there is a fire in the oven, keep the door shut and turn off the heat.
- Smother small flames in a pan by sliding a lid over the pan. Turn off the burner and leave the lid over the pan while it cools.
Also, frying a turkey has become more popular in recent years. Please make sure to not overfill oil in the fryer. Prior to filling your fryer with cooking oil, you can fill it with water and place the turkey in - This will help you determine how much oil is needed without causing oil to spill out when you are ready to fry, which could lead to a fire. Only use the turkey fryer outdoors. Make sure the turkey is completely thawed before frying. Use long cooking gloves that protect hands and arms when you handle the pot.
Always remember, in case of a fire or other emergency, do not hesitate - call 9-1-1.
Additional fire safety information can be found on the NFPA website or on the Office of the State Fire Marshal website.