Not only is Thanksgiving a day filled with turkey, stuffing and all the fixings, but it is also the leading day for U.S. home cooking fires.
Nearly four times as many home cooking fires occurred on Thanksgiving Day in 2015 than any other day in the year, according to the National Fire Protection Association’s most-recent report. The second-leading day for home cooking fires is the day before Thanksgiving.
In 2015, U.S. fire departments responded to about 1,760 home cooking fires on Thanksgiving. Unattended cooking was the leading contributing factor to the fires, according to the report.
“At Thanksgiving, when people are cooking multiple dishes and entertaining guests, it’s easy to get distracted,” Lorraine Carli, vice president of outreach and advocacy, said in a release. “These distractions may prompt them to walk away from the kitchen or forget something is cooking on the stovetop or in the oven. These factors can all increase the likelihood of a cooking fire.”
Between 2011 and 2015, cooking fires caused 20 percent of home fire fatalities and 45 percent of reported home fire injuries.
To prevent Thanksgiving fires, the association discourages the use of turkey fryers. They also encourage following these tips and recommendations:
▪ Stay in the kitchen when cooking
▪ Use a timer to keep track of cooking times
▪ Stay alert and focused when cooking
▪ Keep oven mitts, wooden utensils and other materials away from the cooking area
▪ Keep kids 3 feet away from stovetops and hot foods and liquids