ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Residential cooking fires are three times more likely on Thanksgiving, according to the U.S. Home Cooking Fires report released in October by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).
There was a 238 percent spike in unattended cooking fires on Thanksgiving in 2017, the report indicated.
Cooking fires are the leading cause of residential fires. They represent nearly 50 percent of all house fires. Cooking fires are also the leading cause of reported fire injuries and the second-leading cause of death from residential fires the NFPA said.
More cooking related fire deaths were reported from 2013-2017 than 1980-1984, even though fire deaths fell 46 percent overall. Below are recommendations from the NFPA on preventing a cooking fire this Thanksgiving.
- Never leave the kitchen while cooking on the stovetop. Some types of cooking, especially those that involve frying or sautéing with oil, need continuous attention.
- When cooking a turkey, stay in your home and check on it regularly.
- Make use of timers to keep track of cooking times, particularly for foods that require longer cook times.
- Keep things that can catch fire like oven mitts, wooden utensils, food wrappers, and towels at least three feet away from the cooking area.
- Avoid long sleeves and hanging fabrics that could come in contact with a heat source.
- Always cook with a lid beside your pan. If you have a fire, slide the lid over the pan and turn off the burner. Do not remove the cover because the fire could start again. Let the pan cool for a long time. Never throw water or use a fire extinguisher on the fire.
- For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed. Only open the door once you’re confident the fire is completely out, standing to the side as you do. If you have any doubts or concerns, contact the fire department for assistance.
- Keep children at least three feet away from the stove. Kids should also stay away from hot foods and liquids, as steam or splash from these items could cause severe burns.
The entire report can be found here.