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Safety Facts

  • Cooking is the leading cause of home fires on Thanksgiving Day.***
  • Cooking fires nearly double on Thanksgiving Day, occurring more than twice as often than on another day.***
  • Cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires and home fire injuries.***
  • Thanksgiving Day home fires cause more property damage and claim more lives than home fires on other days.**
  • Eighty percent of Americans don’t realize that home fires are the single most common disaster across the nation.*
  • The number of home fires the American Red Cross has responded to has risen 10% since 2000.
  • Every two and a half hours someone is killed in a home fire. In a typical year, 20,000 people are injured in home fires.**
  • Having a working smoke alarm reduces one’s chances of dying in a fire by nearly half.**

Safety tips

  •   Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you must leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
  •  If you are simmering, baking, boiling, or roasting food, check it regularly, remain in the home while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that the stove or oven is on.
  •  Avoid wearing loose clothing or dangling sleeves while cooking.
  •  Keep kids away from cooking areas by enforcing a “kid-free zone” of three feet around the stove.
  •  Keep anything that can catch on fire—pot holders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, and towels or curtains—away from your stove top and oven or any other appliance in the kitchen that generates heat.
  •  If you must use a turkey fryer, make sure it is outdoors and in an open area away from all walls, fences or other structures that could catch on fire and away from moisture that can cause serious burns from steam or splattering hot oil. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  •  Smoke alarms save lives. Install a smoke alarm near your kitchen and use the test button to check it each month. Replace all batteries at least once a year.
  •  After your Thanksgiving guests leave, ask a family member to perform a home safety check to ensure that all candles and smoking materials are extinguished.
  •  Visit for more information on how to be fire safe on Thanksgiving Day.

Cooking safety and kids
Thanksgiving is a great time to let kids help out in the kitchen. Download our “Kids in the Kitchen” guide for ideas on what different age groups can do around the kitchen as you prepare your holiday meal.

Captain Phil Hayes
Stamford Fire Department
[email protected]

Thanksgiving Fire Safety Tips

Posted: November 19, 2014
About the Author: Captain Philip Hayes
Captain Hayes is a 31-year veteran of the Stamford Fire Department. He is currently assigned to the East Side Fire Station #4 on Shippan Avenue. In addition to his regular Fire Officer duties, he is a Public Relations Officer, the developer of the website and serves on the Departments' IT Team. He is also an avid fan of Fire Department history.
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