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prevent turkey day fires

Prevent Turkey Day Fires

They are finally here! The days of family gatherings, amazing food, crazy traffic, and lots of desserts! Of course, this also means navigating our homes for the bigger pants to wear so we can eat that one last piece of pie. Take it from us, maternity pants work best!


Having said that, what is Turkey Day without spending hours tirelessly standing over a stove in anticipation for our delicious masterpieces to be done. You can smell it now, can’t you? Inadvertently, with many hours of cooking, also comes lots of heat, thus unfortunately causing unexpected fires. Fires can lead to property loss, injuries, or even worse, death, so we have researched some safety suggestions for you this holiday season.


Statistics Show Proof


The peak for fires on Thanksgiving is without a doubt the number one day to be on guard. Fires during this time account for about three times as many more fires than throughout the rest of the year, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Between 2011 and 2013, this day was responsible for an average of 2,100 residential fires, and this resulted in $28 million in property damage, 50 injuries, and 10 deaths, according to a report produced by the U.S. Fire Administration. You might ask yourself why? What is the reason behind so many fires? How do I prevent turkey day fires?  Over 71 percent of these tragedies were a direct result of cooking, with the highest percentage occurring during the hours of noon and 3 p.m., the report said.


Don’t Get Distracted


With family and friends all around, it is easy to become distracted while cooking. Who doesn’t want to hear about Sally’s amazing dance recital or Billy’s induction into the Honor Society? These conversations are what the holidays are all about, however this opens the window for leaving your delicious meal unattended. Paying attention while cooking will keep you from being one of the statistics. We suggest you find and designate specific family members to bring certain items. A Thanksgiving potluck is a popular trend that keeps many people out of the kitchen, allowing everyone to mingle and remain safe. Should you find that you are still isolated to the kitchen, this idea offers you the ability to cook only one or two dishes, instead of wrestling and multi-tasking seven or eight. While you find yourself a hostage to your stove, ask your family members to come and join you. We know that in our homes, the kitchen is the sanctuary for all conversations and gossip anyway.


Keep Your Clothes Tight


You want to be comfortable on this festive day, however let’s not get too comfy. Loose shirts or baggy sweaters are a recipe for disaster. Imagine you are sautéing your mothers favorite dish and a splash of vegetable oil catches on your sweatshirt. Boom! Sparks are flying and while you are trying to get the pan into the running water, your sleeve catches a flame and before you know it, your arm looks like something you have seen at a hibachi grill! Keep the shirts tight friends. A word of advice, never move a pan that is doused in flames. Try to find a lid that is close by to smother the fire and then turn off the heat.

Too Many Cooks In The Kitchen


Just like keeping our sleeves and shirts tight to avoid fires, we suggest that you keep the surrounding areas tidy from all items not necessary during cooking. Keep pot holders, towels, utensils, and other items away from the stove. We know you love your dog Spike, and in your home he is a person and not a four-legged friend, however this is not a time for him to be one with the family. Should Spike start to sniff around and accidentally move a dish cloth that suddenly catches on a flame, then you have a scenario on your hands that can be treacherous.


Let’s Fry Up Some Risks


Most people have found that frying their turkey gives it that je ne sais quoi. That flavor that sticks with you just long enough to hold you over until next Thanksgiving. While this is the preferred method to cook turkey, it is definitely not the safest. We recommend taking the following precautions.


  • Find even ground away from your home. The oil level should remain even on all sides and the fryer should be staged more than 10 feet away from your house.
  • Leave time for thawing and drying. Completely thawing and drying a turkey will reduce the chances of splattering grease, which in keeping with this article, can cause a fire.
  • Be ready and limit people. This is a dangerous area to stand in, therefore we advise that no children or pets be allowed near the fryer. Knocking it over can cause serious injuries to anyone nearby.


Oh No! There’s A Fire!


We do not recommend trying to put out any fires on your own. The majority of non-fatal Thanksgiving Day fire injuries happen due to people trying to fight fires themselves. In the unfortunate event that your home catches on fire, please get everyone out of the house and call 911. No one wants you to be a hero on Thanksgiving. Dennys has just as good of a turkey dinner as any. Keep your family and friends safe this holiday season.