Thanksgiving cooking safety tips

Nov. 16, 2021

Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires in the US.

In 2018, fire departments responded to more than 1,600 cooking fires on Thanksgiving Day alone. Thanksgiving fires caused an estimated annual average of 5 deaths, 25 injuries and $26 million in property loss between 2017 and 2019. Unattended cooking was the leading cause of kitchen fires.

These tips can help reduce your cooking fire risk:

  • Stay in the kitchen (or have someone stay there) to keep an eye on the food that’s cooking
  • Don’t leave your turkey unattended. Always stay home while it’s cooking
  • Keep kids (and pets) out of the kitchen and away from hot liquids or steam
  • Move flammable items like potholders, towels, or wooden utensils away from the stove
  • Keep a pan lid or baking sheet nearby to cover/smother grease fires. Do NOT use water on a grease fire.

Deep-frying a turkey? Avoid the potential poultry inferno by:

  • Making sure your turkey is COMPLETELY thawed before deep-frying it
  • Using the correct amount of oil. Too much oil can overflow onto the burner and catch fire
  • Cooking outside, on a sturdy flat surface, well away from anything that can burn
  • Wearing long, thick gloves to reduce the risk of being burned
  • Checking the oil temperature regularly so it doesn’t overheat

Find more holiday cooking safety tips from the National Fire Protection Association: