NFPA urges fire caution when cooking Thanksgiving Day feast

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National Fire Protection Association warns everyone to use caution when cooking Thanksgiving Day meals due to increase in cooking fires.
(Getty Images)

QUINCY, Ma (BRPROUD) – With Thanksgiving Day around the corner, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) warns everyone to use caution when cooking big meals due to the increase in home cooking fires on Thanksgiving Day.

NFPA data shows that particularly on Thanksgiving Day, an estimated 1,400 home cooking fires were reported to U.S. fire departments in 2019, reflecting a 228 percent increase over the daily average.

“Thanksgiving is a hectic holiday that involves lots of cooking and distractions, which can make it easy to lose sight of what’s on the stove and in the oven. Unattended cooking is the leading cause of home cooking fires, so we strongly encourage people keep a close eye on what they’re cooking and to minimize the likelihood of getting distracted,” said NFPA’s Vice President of Outreach and Advocacy Lorraine Carli.

“The good news is that the vast majority of cooking fires are preventable with a little added awareness. By taking simple steps and precautions to minimize the likelihood of having a cooking fire, everyone can enjoy a festive, fire-safe Thanksgiving,” she added.

NFPA recommends these tips for safe cooking on Thanksgiving Day:

  • Never leave the kitchen while cooking on the stovetop. Some types of cooking, especially those that involve frying or sautéing with oil, need continuous attention.
  • When cooking a turkey, remain at home and check it regularly.
  • Make use of timers to keep track of cooking times, particularly for foods that require longer cook times.
  • Keep things that can catch fire like oven mitts, wooden utensils, food wrappers, and towels at least three feet away from the cooking area.
  • Avoid long sleeves and hanging fabrics that can come in contact with a heat source.
  • 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.
  • For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed. Only open the door once you’re confident the fire is completely out, standing to the side as you do. If you have any doubts or concerns, contact the fire department for assistance.
  • Keep children at least three feet away from the stove. Kids should also stay away from hot foods and liquids, as steam or splash from these items could cause severe burns.

NFPA is a global self-funded nonprofit organization devoted to eliminating death, injury, property, and economic loss due to fire, electrical, and related hazards.

For more information, visit www.nfpa.org.

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