Thanksgiving is just around the corner. It is a time when family and friends get together to enjoy each other’s company and give thanks for all of the blessings they have experienced. A lot of the time spent during this holiday season will be in the kitchen where a great deal of activity will occur in preparation of the Thanksgiving feast. The National Fire Protection Association wants to remind you that Thanksgiving is the day of the year where homeowners experience the greatest number of house fires. These occur most frequently around the major holidays so it is important to understand the busiest days of the year for house fires and fire fatalities.
The busiest days for home cooking fires are Thanksgiving, followed by the day before Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and Christmas Eve. In 2015, it was estimated that 1,760 home cooking fires occurred on Thanksgiving in the US alone. Unattended cooking was the leading contributing factor in cooking fires and in fire fatalities. Cooking equipment was listed as the second leading cause of home fire deaths.
So, what can you do during the holiday season to help protect your family against home cooking fires, serious fire injuries and fire deaths? It is therefore important that you follow a great number of safety tips so that you can enjoy a happy, healthy and safe Thanksgiving. Please consider the following suggestions:
We become easily distracted during this busy holiday season and we are constantly moving in and out of the kitchen. It is very important that you stay in the kitchen while you are cooking, especially when using the stovetop, so that you can keep an eye on the food and become immediately aware of any problems;
You should not start cooking your turkey and then leave your home for any period of time. You should also make sure you check on your turkey frequently so that you can reduce the risk of any type of fire hazard;
You should make sure that your floors are cleaned of any debris, spills that might occur, toys or other items that can cause you to trip or slip and fall;
Please make sure that children stay out of the kitchen and, if they are in the kitchen, keep them far enough away from the stove so that hot food or liquids do not fall upon them and burn them;
You should also keep knives and other dangerous objects away from children so that you reduce the risk of any type of injury that could occur to unattended children;
You should try to keep your counters as clutter free as possible and make sure that electric cords are not dangling or hanging off the counters which could allow for a child to pull on them thereby causing some type of an accident;
You should keep matches and lighters away from small children who might otherwise take them to a bedroom or bathroom and accidentally cause a fire while playing with them;
You should also not leave lit candles around that could be knocked over which could eventually start a fire;
It is very important that you make sure that all smoke detectors are properly functioning and ideally have new batteries in them so that they will be functioning in case of a fire; and
To the extent possible, it is highly recommended that you not deep-fry turkeys during Thanksgiving given the high risk for the potential of a fire. If you must deep fry a turkey then you should make sure that this is set up in an area far away from any potential fire hazards, make sure children are not around the deep fryer and always make sure that at least one adult is present at all times.
The Thanksgiving holiday should be a time when we enjoy our families and celebrate all that we have to be thankful for. The last thing we want is to have some type of devastating accidents, such as a house fire, where people are seriously injured or in the worst of circumstances died. Please be very careful, exercise good judgment, be mindful of the fact that this is a time when many house fires occur and enjoy your family and friends in the safest of environments.