Thanksgiving Day is the busiest day for the fire service, says the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department.
More property damage and lives are lost in residential structure fires on Thanksgiving Day than any other day of the year. The increase applies mostly to cooking fires in family homes.
An estimated 2,000 Thanksgiving Day fires in residential buildings are reported to U.S. fire departments each year and cause an estimated average of 5 deaths, 25 injuries, and $121 million in property loss. Over the last several years, turkey fryer fires have contributed significantly to the increase in cooking fires. The use of turkey fryers by consumers can lead to devastating burns, other injuries, and destruction of property. The following safe cooking tips can help to make your holiday safer:
- Always use cooking equipment tested and approved by a recognized testing facility.
- Stay in the kitchen when you are frying or grilling food. If you leave the kitchen, turn off the stove.
- Keep anything that can catch fire--potholders, towels, or curtains away from the stovetop.
- Have a "kid-free zone" of at least three feet around the stove.
- Wear short, close fitting or tightly rolled sleeves when cooking.
- Always keep an oven mitt and lid nearby when cooking.
- When placing the turkey into the oven or turkey fryer, be extremely careful.
If having a fried turkey is a must for Thanksgiving, consider purchasing a fried, cooked turkey from a commercial source. Supermarkets and restaurants accept orders for fried turkeys during the holiday season.