Fire safety tips for Thanksgiving

Published 3:16 pm Tuesday, November 24, 2015

When most of us think about Thanksgiving, images of turkey, stuffing or dressing, and lots of other tasty seasonal foods come to mind as do times spent with loved ones, not fire hazards.

However, an increased risk of fire is, in fact, a reality of Thanksgiving.

Statistics from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) show three times as many home cooking fires on Thanksgiving Day as on a typical day.

Here are the Alabama State Fire Marshal’s Office and the NFPA’s top five tips for cooking safely this Thanksgiving:

• Remain in the kitchen while you are cooking and keep a close eye on what you fry.

• 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 or oven. Regularly check on food that is simmering, baking or roasting and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.

• Keep things that can catch fire such as oven mitts, wooden or plastic utensils, food packaging, towels and curtains away from the cooking area.

• If you have a small grease or cooking fire on the stovetop: smother the flames by sliding a lid over the pan and turning off the burner. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled. For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.

• If you are using a disposable aluminum pan in your oven, consider doubling up and using two pans to avoid puncture, as dripping turkey or other juices could cause a fire.

• Be alert when cooking. If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol, do not use the stove or stovetop.

Check out other fire safety tips online at or