Thanksgiving is a time for family, food and fun, but it can also be one of the most dangerous days of the year in the home.
While many people consider overeating to be the greatest danger on Thanksgiving, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) says Thanksgiving Day is the leading day for home cooking fires, with three times as many occurring on Thanksgiving as any other day of the year.
“Thanksgiving is a fun, festive holiday, but it’s also very hectic,” said Lorraine Carli, vice president of communications for NFPA. “All the entertaining and distractions make it easy to forget about what’s cooking on the stovetop.”
According to the NFPA, in 2010, there were 1,370 fires on Thanksgiving, a 219 percent increase over the daily average. Fire departments across the United States responded to an estimated average of 156,400 home fires involving cooking equipment in 2010. These fires caused 420 civilian deaths, 5,310 civilian injuries, and $993 million in direct property damage.
Recommended safety tips:
• 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.
• When simmering, baking, roasting, or boiling food, check it regularly, remain in the home while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.
• Stay alert. If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol, don’t use the stove or stovetop.
• Keep anything that can catch fire such as oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains away from the stovetop.