12 Anti-Blaze Tips for a Safe and Happy Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving is a time for family, friends, and food. But it’s also a time for increased fire risk. According to the National Fire Protection Association, Thanksgiving is the leading day for home cooking fires. In fact, there are an average of 1,600 home cooking fires on Thanksgiving Day each year. To ensure a safe and happy Thanksgiving celebration, follow these eight anti-blaze tips:
Top Safety Tips Stay Attentive in the Kitchen
The kitchen is the heart of any Thanksgiving celebration, but it’s also a common place for fires to start. Stay vigilant when cooking and never leave the stove or oven unattended. Keep flammable objects, like dish towels and potholders, away from heat sources.
Here are some top tips for staying attentive in the kitchen during Thanksgiving to prevent a fire:
- Keep an eye on the oven: Never leave the oven unattended while cooking. Set a timer to remind yourself to check on the food.
- Thaw your turkey properly: Ensure your turkey is completely thawed before cooking. Thawing in the refrigerator is the safest method. Allow approximately 24 hours of thawing time for every 5 pounds of turkey. Make sure to remove the giblets and neck from the cavities once the turkey is thawed.
- Be careful of loose clothing: Avoid wearing loose-fitting clothing while cooking, as it can easily catch fire. Opt for short or tight-fitting sleeves and use aprons when needed.
- Maintain a clutter-free kitchen: Keep your countertops and stovetop clear of clutter, including items like kitchen appliances, wooden utensils, and flammable materials, as they can easily catch fire.
- Don’t overload electrical outlets: Overloading electrical outlets can cause a fire hazard. Use only one high-wattage appliance per outlet.
- Watch for grease buildup: Regularly clean your stovetop, oven, and exhaust fan to prevent the buildup of grease and food residue, which can ignite and cause fires.
- Have a fire extinguisher on hand. Store a multipurpose fire extinguisher in an easily accessible location in your kitchen. Make sure you and your family know how to use it.
- Install and maintain smoke alarms: Make sure you have working smoke alarms in your kitchen and throughout your home. Test them regularly and change the batteries as needed.
- Be careful when deep-frying: Deep-frying can be dangerous if not done properly. Make sure the oil is not too hot and that the food is not crowded in the pan.
- Use a turkey fryer outdoors. If you are deep-frying a turkey, do it outdoors on a level surface, away from any combustible materials. Never fry a turkey in a garage, on a wooden deck, or under a patio.
- Turn off all appliances when you are finished cooking: Even small appliances can cause a fire if they are left on unattended.
- Plan for an Emergency: In case of a fire or other emergency, make sure your family knows the escape plan and meeting point. Keep important phone numbers, like those for the fire department and poison control, readily accessible. Having a well-thought-out emergency plan can help minimize panic and ensure everyone’s safety.
The top reasons for Thanksgiving fires are:
- Unattended cooking: This is the leading cause of home cooking fires and fire deaths. Cooking requires your full attention, so stay in the kitchen while cooking and never leave food unattended on the stove or in the oven.
- Turkey fryers: Deep-frying a turkey can be dangerous if not done properly. Turkey fryers can easily tip over, causing hot oil to spill and ignite. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and never fry a turkey indoors.
- Electrical problems: Overloaded electrical outlets and faulty wiring can cause fires. Make sure to use extension cords that are rated for the appliance you are using, and never overload outlets.
- Flammable materials: Keep flammable materials, such as potholders, towels, and paper, away from heat sources.
- Children and pets: Children and pets should be kept away from the kitchen while cooking is in progress.
Remember, Thanksgiving is a time to cherish moments with your loved ones, and safety should always be a priority. By following these anti-blaze tips, you can enjoy a Thanksgiving celebration that’s both joyful and worry-free.
Home Fires — Ready.gov