Don’t make fire the centerpiece of your Thanksgiving! Cooking fires are nothing to mess around with – one mishap can end up disastrous! Thanksgiving is the #1 day of the year for cooking fires with about 1,400 every year. With the pandemic, this number rose. Sadly, there were 434 fatalities in 2020 compared to 391 in 2019. More of us are trying our hand at cooking so it is even more important to stay alert and practice these safety tips to keep your family safe this Thanksgiving.
“More cooking fires occur on Thanksgiving than any other day of the year, and it’s not hard to see why,” said State Fire Marshal Kevin S. Reardon. “Between cleaning, taking care of children and cooking multiple dishes at a time, there’s no shortage of distractions in and around the kitchen. Staying alert and paying attention to what you’re cooking can go a long way in ensuring those distractions don’t have tragic consequences.”
Steps to Stay Safe Cooking on Thanksgiving!
Do not leave any cooking area unattended.
- Set a timer as a reminder of the food you are preparing.
- Maintain a “kid-free zone” of 3 feet around the stove or areas where hot food or drinks are being prepared.
- Keep paper towels and napkins away from hot surfaces.
- Keep deep-fried turkey cooking out of the garage, away from your home, and wooden structures.
- Before frying a turkey, place it in the fryer and cover it with water to determine the exact amount of oil you will need to prevent a fire caused by overflow.
- Have an appropriate fire extinguisher handy.
- If the situation becomes more serious, evacuate and call 911.
“Many wonderful holiday celebrations this time of year can be ruined by fires that are most often preventable, so it’s important to remain vigilant and stay safe in the kitchen,” said Reardon.
If you have a fire…
If you have to file an insurance claim, take photographs or video of the damage and immediately contact your insurance agent or company. Provide complete and accurate information when submitting a claim to avoid delay.
“Homeowners insurance generally covers cooking fire damage, but it’s always a good idea to review your insurance protection with an insurance agent,” Ohio Department of Insurance Director Judith L. French said.
For more information on cooking safe and house fires, you can call the Ohio Department of Insurance at 1-800-686-1526 or visit www.insurance.ohio.gov if you have insurance questions and concerns. Additional safety tips are available from the State Fire Marshal’s Office at www.com.ohio.gov/fire/Prevention.aspx