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Cooking Safety

Thanksgiving Safety Fast Facts

  • Cooking is the leading cause of home fires on Thanksgiving Day.
  • Cooking fires nearly double on Thanksgiving Day, occurring more than twice as often than on another day.
  • Cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires and home fire injuries. 
  • Thanksgiving Day home fires cause more property damage and claim more lives than home fires on other days.
  • Eighty percent of Americans don’t realize that home fires are the single most common disaster across the nation.
  • The number of home fires the American Red Cross has responded to has risen 10% since 2000.
  • Every two and a half hours someone is killed in a home fire. In a typical year, 20,000 people are injured in home fires.
  • Having a working smoke alarm reduces one’s chances of dying in a fire by nearly half.
  • Safety


With fire-wise common sense, you can make sure tragedy does not come between you and the festive holiday you have planned. Follow these fire prevention tips to help you and your family have a safe and happy Thanksgiving.

Keep your family and overnight guests safe with a working smoke detector on every level of the house, in every bedroom, and in the halls adjacent to the bedrooms. Test smoke detectors monthly and replace batteries at least twice a year.

  • Overnight guests should be instructed on the fire escape plan and designated meeting place for your home.
  • Have a fire extinguisher available not more than 10 feet from the stove, on the exit side of the room.

  • A 2-1/2 lb. class ABC multi-purpose dry chemical extinguisher is recommended. Know how to use your fire extinguisher.
  • Start holiday cooking with a clean stove and oven.

  • Keep the kitchen off-limits to young children and adults that are not helping with food preparations to lessen the possibility of kitchen mishaps.
  • When cooking, do not wear clothing with loose sleeves or dangling jewelry. The clothing can catch on fire and the jewelry can catch on pot handles, causing spills and burns.

  • Cook on the back burners when possible and turn pot handles in so they don’t extend over the edge of the stove.
  • Never leave cooking unattended. If you must leave the kitchen while cooking, turn off the stove or have someone else watch  what is being cooked.

  • Keep Thanksgiving decorations and kitchen clutter away from sources of direct heat.
  • Candles are often part of holiday decorations. Candles should never be left burning when you are away from home, or after going to bed. Candles should be located where children will not be tempted to play with them, and where guests will not  accidentally brush against them. The candle holder should be completely noncombustible and difficult to knock over. The  candle should not have combustible decorations around it.

  • If smoking is allowed inside, provide guests with large, deep ashtrays and check them frequently. After guests leave, check  inside and under upholstery and in trash cans for cigarette butts that may be smoldering.

And for those of you that prefer to deep fry your Thanksgiving meal... 

Turkey Fryer Fire Facts

  • Cooking fires peak on Thanksgiving Day.
  • Between 1998 and 2005, the Consumer Product Safety Commission had 112 reports of fires or burns related to turkey fryers.

    Most fires from turkey fryers occur while the oil is being heated, before the turkey is added.

    Contact with hot oil can cause serious burns.

Stay Safe...follow these tips...

For safety’s sake, buy a fried turkey from a grocery store, specialty food store, or restaurant instead of frying it yourself. If you decide to fry a turkey, follow these tips to prevent fires and injuries:Wishing you all a happy, healthy, and most importantly SAFE holiday

  • Place the turkey fryer on a level surface, in an open area away from homes, fences, sheds, and other structures.
  • Never place the fryer on a wooden deck or porch or in a garage or carport.
  • Leave at least 2 feet between the fryer and the propane tank.
  • Keep the fryer in full view at all times.
  • Keep children and pets away from the fryer.
  • Check the oil temperature often. If you see smoke coming from the oil, turn off the gas right away.
  • Completely thaw and dry the turkey before frying. Adding a partially frozen or wet turkey to the pot makes the oil splatter a lot, causing a fire or explosion hazard.
  • Cover bare skin before adding or removing food from the fryer.
  • Raise and lower food slowly to avoid splattering or spilling oil.
  • Use the right amount of oil. To find out how much oil to use, read the fryer’s instructions, or:
  • Place the turkey in the pot.
  • Fill with water until the turkey is covered by ½ inch of water.
  • Remove the turkey and pat dry.
  • Mark the water level in the pot.
  • Dump the water, dry the pot, and fill oil to the level marked.
  • If the fryer catches fire, call 911 right away. Do not try to put it out with water.

Wishing you all a happy, healthy, and most importantly SAFE holiday,

Your Police Department's Fire Safety Officers