How to Prevent Cooking Fires on Thanksgiving

Cooking for Thanksgiving can be an exhausting and daunting task. It can also be hazardous. 

Thanksgiving is the top day of the year for cooking-related fires, according to the National Fire Protection Association. In 2018, there were 1,630 fires caused by home cooking on Thanksgiving. 

Here are some tips to keep in mind to make sure that your Thanksgiving is safe: 

1. Closely monitor your food. Don’t leave the kitchen when you have something on the stove—or have someone else keep an eye on it if you must leave. Or, turn the burner off if you have to leave and no one else is nearby. According to the National Fire Protection Association, the top cause of kitchen fires is cooking that has been left unmonitored. And, most often, the top site for those fires is the stove top, according to the Association.

2. Stay on top of the turkey. Likewise, the National Fire Protection Association recommends that you stay in your home when the turkey is cooking and regularly monitor it.

3. Remain alert. If you’ve had alcohol, wait until you’re more alert to use the stove top. Or save the drinks for dinner. 

4. Be careful with turkey fryers. The oil used in these fryers is heated to extremely high levels. If it spills, it could cause a fire or lead to injury. Some people recommend that you don’t use them. But, if you’re determined to go with turkey fryers, the U.S. Fire Administration, recommends using them only in the outdoors, at least three feet away from anything flammable. See the administration’s guidelines here for how to use turkey fryers. 

5. Keep children out. Keep kids at least three feet away from anything hot or burning. 

6. Clear the kitchen space. Make sure you don’t have any cords hanging off the kitchen counter that could lead to an accident or get too close to anything that’s cooking. Also, make sure there isn’t any clutter on the floor that could be a tripping hazard. 

7. Check your smoke alarms. Don’t forget to check the batteries in your smoke alarm. Also, check the device itself to make sure it hasn’t expired. 

We hope these tips ensure you have a safe Thanksgiving and hopefully ease some of your stress on the big day.

Note: Sources included the National Fire Protection Association and the U.S. Fire Administration.