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Thanksgiving Fire Safety: Three Things to Know


For many, Thanksgiving is a time to enjoy time with family and friends, remember everything we have to be grateful for, and celebrate the occasion with a feast of delicious food. However, that delicious food also comes with risks to consider - Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires, according to the National Fire Protection Association.

Cooking can be fun, but it can also be dangerous. And on a holiday, you may find yourself out of routine, with guests in your home and plenty on your mind.

What can you do to stay safe this Thanksgiving? In this blog, we’re breaking down three areas where you can help mitigate your risk of a fire this holiday season.

1. Practice safe cooking. 

iStock-1200016717A leading cause of fires on Thanksgiving and other holidays is cooking. During a holiday like Thanksgiving, you might have family and friends over, leaving you distracted and cooking unattended – which poses a huge fire risk.

When working in the kitchen, always stay close when you are cooking on the stovetop, so you can keep a close eye on your food. If you have food in the oven, such as the turkey, you need to stay in the house until it’s out of the oven and the oven is turned off. Make sure that you’re not wearing any loose-fitting clothes that could catch fire or get caught in the oven while you’re cooking.

Always turn pan handles inward, so people cannot accidentally bump them when walking by, and keep knives well out of reach of children or pets.

Finally, turkey fryers that use cooking oil are not safe, according to the NFPA. If you want a fried turkey for your Thanksgiving feast, the NFPA recommends purchasing one pre-cooked from a grocery store or restaurant, or using a fryer that does not use oil. Oil turkey fryers can cause life-threatening burns – they are easy to tip over and overfill, both of which can cause catastrophic fires.

If you are using any kind of fryer, it should never be left unattended.

2. Protect your guests - especially kids and pets.

At the holidays, you may have people in your home who usually aren’t there, including children or pets. It’s essential to make sure the holiday is safe for everyone – including these littlest guests.

If the stove is in use, children and pets need to be kept away, at least three feet. Ideally, keep them out of the kitchen altogether, so they don’t pose a tripping risk or accidentally bump into anything. Keep pan handles on the stove turned inward and keep knives and scissors well out of reach of little hands. Matches and lighters should be stored and locked in high cabinets as well, and electric cords shouldn’t be left dangling in a place they could be grabbed or snag on someone. Additionally, children shouldn’t be left alone in any room with a lit candle.

When your guests arrive, establish a place for them to leave shoes, purses and coats, so the floor does not become cluttered with trip hazards.

3. Have a plan.

Even if you take every precaution, fires can still happen. This is why it’s essential to have a plan everyone understands, and to know what to do if a fire breaks out.

Before your holiday event, check all your smoke alarms and replace the batteries in any that aren’t working. When your guests arrive, talk to them about exits and where to meet up away from the home in case of an emergency where you need to evacuate. Make sure you have the proper fire extinguishers in your kitchen and other high-risk areas, such as near a fireplace.

Finally, know what to do if a fire happens.iStock-1180142175

If a cooking fire occurs, know what to do in different situations. If it’s an oven fire, leave the food in the oven and turn off the heat. If the fire does not go out on its own, call 911 and leave your house until they arrive.

If the fire is a stovetop fire, cover the pan with a lid and slide it off the heat and turn it off, or you can use a cookie sheet if you don’t have a lid. Grease fires can be especially dangerous, because using water or flour can make them extremely dangerous. For small grease fires, you can pour baking soda or salt on it. When in doubt, call 911 to have professionals help, and get outside the home while you wait.

This Thanksgiving, keep your holiday fun and fire free by following the tips above. If you still have fire safety on your mind when you’re back to the office, we’d love to help create custom solutions that can protect your people and property from fire and life safety threats.

Tags: preferred protection, fire safety, holiday safety