For Immediate Release: November 24, 2014
State Fire Marshal Urges Caution in the Kitchen this Thanksgiving
Three times as many cooking fires occur on Thanksgiving than on an average day.
RALEIGH -- Insurance Commissioner and State Fire Marshal Wayne Goodwin is reminding North Carolinians to be especially aware of kitchen and cooking safety on Thanksgiving, when it is easy to be distracted by activity and people in the home.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, home cooking fires peak on major U.S. holidays that traditionally include cooking, with Thanksgiving being the leading day for reported cooking fires.
"Entertaining family, sitting down to a big meal and otherwise readying for the busy holiday season can take our attention away from safety," said Goodwin. "I want all North Carolinians to keep safety at the forefront of their minds, and to particularly keep an eye on the kitchen."
Goodwin recommends the following safety tips for cooking on Thanksgiving:
- Always stay in the kitchen while frying, grilling or broiling food. If you have to leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
- Keep things that can catch fire such as oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels and curtains away from the cooking area.
- Establish a "kid-free zone" of at least 3 feet around the stove and areas where hot food or drink is being prepared or carried.
- Be alert when cooking. If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol, don't cook.
- If you have a stove fire, when in doubt, just get out! Call 9-1-1 from outside the home.
To ensure a safer Thanksgiving Day, members of the public are encouraged to watch and share NFPA's "Thanksgiving Fire Safety Tips" video at bit.ly/NFPACooking.