Since cooking is the number one cause of house fires, the Anne Arundel County Fire Department said, it comes as little surprise that three times as many cooking fires occur on Thanksgiving than on a typical day.
There were 1,570 cooking fires during Thanksgiving 2016, according to estimates from the National Fire Protection Association. Christmas, Christmas Eve and the day before Thanksgiving are the next most frequent home fire days.
The most common cause of these fires is unattended cooking, the Fire Department said. To avoid potential disaster, the National Fire Protection Association offered several tips.
- Remain in the kitchen while you cook, and keep a close eye on anything frying, boiling, grilling, or broiling.
- Keep oven mitts, wooden utensils, packaging, towels, and other flammable items away from where they could catch fire.
- If a small grease fire does erupt, smother the flames by sliding a lid over the pan and turning off the burner, or, if need be, douse with baking soda. Leave the pan covered until it fully cools. DO NOT THROW WATER ON A GREASE FIRE.
- If a fire occurs in the oven, turn off the heat and keep the door closed. If using disposable pans to roast a turkey, think of doubling up to avoid puncture since turkey drippings can cause an oven fire.
While Thanksgiving heightens the likelihood of a kitchen fire, firefighters remind everyone that these tips are just as applicable any other day of the year, they just seem more needed the third Thursday of November.