Holiday Cooking Poses Fire Threat

By: Tim Elliott Email
By: Tim Elliott Email

It's a holiday tradition: slaving away in the kitchen on Thanksgiving Day in an attempt to create perfect turkey meal with all the trimmings.

But with all that cooking comes a serious fire risk.

According to the National Fire Protection Agency, Thanksgiving is the leading day for home cooking fires.

They say U.S. firefighters responded to roughly 1,300 home fires involving cooking equipment on thanksgiving in 2007.

That's about three times the daily average of cooking fires.

Here's how you, can stay safe!

“A lot of times fire safety skips our mind and we have several thousand people die each year from fires in the home,” said Captain Kyle Hovey with the Dothan Fire Department.

Hovey says the Thanksgiving holiday brings an increased risk of house fires.

“Because people sometimes try new things new ways of cooking such as frying turkey and that can really lead to some serious issues if you don't know how to do one properly,”

Hovey offers some tips to keep you and your family safe.

“You need to have a pre-planned fire drill at your home. You should be doing that already with your family but if visitors come over they need to be aware of the fire drill,”

“A good idea is to have a charged, up to date fire extinguisher in the kitchen. The smoke detectors need to be important no matter what time of year it is,”

Firefighters say the best thing you can do to prevent a fire this holiday season is to just be smart and pay attention to what's going on in your kitchen.

“Sometimes there's a problem with people not paying attention, leaving the stove for a certain amount of time causing oil to become overheated and catch on fire,” said Hovey.

He adds a busy kitchen can lead to a deadly mishap.

“There's an added risk of kids running by and possibly knocking over some hot grease and severely burning them,”

“If a kitchen fire is not brought under control very quickly, that fire can spread to the cabinets, it can access the attic and access the whole home and destroy the whole home fast.”

Also according the NFPA, cooking equipment was involved in 40% of all reported home fires and 17% of home fire deaths in 2007.

Frying a turkey is very dangerous.

Make sure you've measured out the correct amount of oil and that your turkey is thawed before attempted to cook.

All Dothan fire stations will be fully-staffed on Thanksgiving Day.

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