(WYTV) – More than three times as many home cooking fires occur on Thanksgiving Day.
According to the latest U.S. Home Cooking Fires report released by the National Fire Protection Association, there were 1,600 reported home cooking fires on Thanksgiving in 2017.
That is a 238% increase over the daily average.
Unattended cooking was the leading cause of these fires.
“With people preparing multiple dishes, often with lots of guests and other distraction sin and around the kitchen, it’s easy to see why the number of home cooking fires increases so dramatically,” said Lorrain Carli, NFPA’s Vice President of Outreach and Advocacy.
According to the NFPA report, cooking is the leading cause of home fires year-round. That’s almost half of all U.S. home fires and reported home fire injuries.
Cooking is the second-leading cause of home fire deaths as well, according to the report.
The report also shows that less progress has been made in reducing deaths from home cooking fires than deaths from most other fire causes.
The NFPA give the following tips and recommendations for cooking safely this Thanksgiving:
- Never leave the kitchen while cooking on the stove top.
- 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 into 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 extinguished 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 splashes from these items could cause severe burns.
The NFPA also discourages the use of turkey fryers. They can lead to severe burns, injuries and property damage.
For a safe alternative, the NFPA recommends grocery stores, food retailers and restaurants that sell deep-fried turkey.