Contrary to what some younger generations may believe, the Talking Heads’ “Burning Down the House” is not about a Thanksgiving dinner gone wrong. Though without taking precautions, it could be.
“Thanksgiving is the leading day of the year for home fires involving cooking equipment,” said officials from Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District. Unattended cooking is the largest contributor to the fires.
Data from the National Fire Protection Association reveals Thanksgiving as the peak day for cooking fires, with about 1,400 requiring fire department response in 2019. Christmas Day, Christmas Eve and the day before Thanksgiving are also top days for cooking fires.
TMFPD shared these tips to improve safety while preparing and enjoying Thanksgiving and other holiday meals and gatherings:
- Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stovetop so you can keep an eye on the food.
- Stay in the home when cooking your turkey, and check on it frequently.
- Make sure the turkey is completely thawed before it is placed into a fryer.
- Never leave the fryer unattended because, without thermostat controls, the oil will continue to heat until it catches fire.
- Never use a fryer on a wooden deck, under a patio cover, in a garage or enclosed space.
- Keep children at least three feet away from hot stoves, hot liquids and hot food.
- Keep children away from knives, and vice versa.
- Be sure electric cords from small kitchen appliances are not dangling off counters within easy reach of a child.
- Keep matches and utility lighters away from children and in locked cabinets.
- Never leave children alone in a room with a lit candle.
- Keep floors clear of debris and belongings.
- Make sure your smoke alarms are working. Test them by pushing the test button.