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The National Fire Protection Association® (NFPA®) urges added caution when cooking on Thanksgiving Day, by far the leading day of the year for home cooking fires. In 2021, an estimated 1,160 home cooking fires were reported to U.S fire departments on Thanksgiving Day, reflecting a 297 percent increase over the daily average.
“Thanksgiving is a hectic holiday with multiple dishes cooking and baking at the same time, along with lots of guests, entertaining, and other distractions that can make it easy to lose sight of what’s on the stove or in the oven,” said Lorraine Carli, vice president of Outreach and Advocacy at NFPA. “With all these factors at play, it’s not surprising that the number of cooking fires spikes so dramatically.”
Overall, cooking is the leading cause of U.S. home fires and injuries, and the second-leading cause of home fire deaths. Unattended cooking is the leading contributing factor in cooking fires and fire deaths.
“Keeping a close eye on what’s cooking and minimizing the likelihood of getting distracted are key steps people can take to ensure a festive, fire-free holiday,” said Carli.
Following are additional tips and recommendations from NFPA to help cook safely on Thanksgiving:
In addition, NFPA strongly discourages the use of turkey fryers that use cooking oil, which can cause devastating burns. For a safe alternative, NFPA recommends purchasing a fried turkey from a grocery store or restaurant or buying a fryer that does not use oil.