SAN ANTONIO, TX - Anyone who has ever hosted a Thanksgiving dinner can tell you: the struggle is in the supper. As you work wonders to put a delicious bird on the table and dish the sides to spec, the last thing you need is a kitchen fire or any other drama on the big day.
"We know the kitchen is the heart of the home during the holidays," said Christopher Steele, the president of the San Antonio Professional Firefighters Association. "That's why we want everyone and their families to be safe and to focus on making memories -- not fires!"
The National Fire Protection Association reports Thanksgiving was the leading day for home cooking fires with 1,500 total. That's about 230% above the average number of fires per day.
Thanksgiving by the numbers
- Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires, followed by Christmas Day and Christmas Eve.
- Unattended cooking was by far the leading contributing factor in cooking fires and fire deaths.
- Cooking equipment is the leading cause of home structure fires and associated civilian injuries and was the third leading cause of home fire deaths.
So what can you do to be safe? The NFPA recommends the following tips:
- Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stovetop so you can keep an eye on the food.
- Stay in the home when cooking your turkey and check on it frequently.
- Keep children away from the stove. The stove will be hot and kids should stay 3 feet away.
- Make sure kids stay away from hot food and liquids. The steam or splash from vegetables, gravy or coffee could cause serious burns.
- Keep the floor clear so you don’t trip over kids, toys, pocketbooks or bags.
- Keep knives out of the reach of children.
- Be sure electric cords from an electric knife, coffee maker, plate warmer or mixer are not dangling off the counter within easy reach of a child.
- Keep matches and utility lighters out of the reach of children — up high in a locked cabinet.
- Never leave children alone in room with a lit candle.
- Make sure your smoke alarms are working. Test them by pushing the test button.
The following video has more tips. Share this with your family this holiday season!