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Thanksgiving Fire Prevention Tips

Cooking is the number one cause of home fires.

Cooking is the number one cause of home fires.

For many Americans, the best part about Thanksgiving is sitting down to a delicious home-cooked holiday dinner with friends and family. Unfortunately, cooking is the number one cause of home fires and the greatest number of them occur on Thanksgiving Day.

The American Red Cross offers these tips to follow while preparing your Thanksgiving meal:

  1. Do not wear loose-fitting clothing or sleeves that dangle while cooking.
  2. Never leave your food unattended. If you are frying, grilling or broiling food, never leave it unattended—stay in the kitchen. If you must leave the kitchen—even for a short time—turn off the stove.
  3. Check your food regularly when simmering, baking, roasting or broiling food.
  4. Use a timer. It’s easy to lose track of time. Use a timer to remind yourself that the stove or oven is on.
  5. Keep kids and pets away from the cooking area. Make them stay at least three feet away from the stove.
  6. Keep anything that can catch fire away from the heat source. This means: potholders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, and towels or curtains. Keep them away from your stove, oven or any other appliance in the kitchen that generates heat.
  7. Clean on a regular basis. Clean cooking surfaces and range hoods on a regular basis to prevent grease buildup.
  8. Keep a fire extinguisher in your kitchen and learn how to use it.
  9. Always check the kitchen before going to bed or leaving the home to make sure all stoves, ovens, and small appliances are turned off.
  10. Install a smoke alarm near your kitchen, on each level of your home, near sleeping areas, and inside and outside bedrooms if you sleep with doors closed. Use the test button to check it each month. Replace all batteries at least once a year.
  11. Ensure your guests are aware of all available exits if a fire were to occur and inform them of a designated meeting place outside.

For more Thanksgiving safety information, including thawing and cooking times, tips for deep-frying a turkey, and proper leftover storage, read our in-depth Thanksgiving Dinner Safety blog.

From all of us at Elk & Elk, have a happy and safe Thanksgiving!