Thanksgiving Safety

November 21, 2022
Thanksgiving safety training image

With the Thanksgiving holiday approaching, we want to highlight the importance of cooking safely so that everyone has an enjoyable and safe holiday. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), cooking is the leading cause of home fires and fire injuries. In 2019, Thanksgiving was the peak day for home fires involving cooking.

The NFPA and the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) offer these tips to stay safe while cooking:

  • Never leave the kitchen while cooking
  • Never cook while sleepy, drinking alcohol, or taking medication that makes you drowsy
  • Keep anything that can catch fire away from your stovetop
  • Have a “kid-free zone” of at least 3 feet around the stove and areas where hot foods and liquids are prepared or carried
  • Double-check that everything is off when you finish cooking
  • Never disable a smoke alarm while cooking
  • Always unplug countertop alliances when not in use
  • Never use a cooking stove to heat your home

The safest action you can take when you have a cooking fire is to get outside and call 911. According to the NFPA, more than half of the civilians injured in home fires involving cooking equipment were hurt while attempting to fight the fire themselves.

For a Grease Fire
Never throw water on a grease fire. Smother the flames on the stovetop by carefully sliding a lid over the pan and turning off the burner. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.

For an Oven Fire
For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.

The ESFI suggests the following for a safer holiday:

  • Functioning Smoke Alarms – they should be installed in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area, and on every level of the home. Be sure to test the batteries in your smoke alarms monthly
  • Functioning Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters – these are electrical safety devices that trip electrical circuits when they detect ground faults or leakage currents which could lead to someone being shocked or electrocuted. GFCIs should be installed where electrical products may come in contact with water, such as in the kitchen. GFCIs should also be tested every month
  • Kitchen Timer – it’s easy to forget about something that’s cooking, especially when you are entertaining guests. Use a kitchen timer to make sure your dish doesn’t become a fire hazard
  • Clean Appliances – prevent fires by making sure your oven and stovetop are clean and free of grease and dust. You should also clean the exhaust hood and duct over the stove regularly. Lastly, vacuum the refrigerator coils every three months to prevent potentially dangerous dirt build up

Following these safety tips can give you and your family peace of mind and allow you to safely make wonderful memories this holiday.

For more information on Thanksgiving safety from the NFPA, visit

Home cooking safety and fire prevention tips from ESFI can be found here:

Credit: NFPA and ESFI

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