How to Prevent a Thanksgiving Fire

Thanksgiving is one of the most popular holidays and signals the official start of the Christmas season. Thanksgiving is the #1 holiday for cooking fires, with as many as 3X fires as any other day of the year. For any host or hostess, preparing the famed turkey can send even the most experienced cooks into a tailspin and, worse, cause a fire if you’re not careful. Let’s review the top causes of Thanksgiving fires and how to prevent a disaster in the kitchen. 

#1: Never leave anything unattended 

If you’re actively cooking on your stovetop or an appliance, never leave it unattended. Some types of cooking like frying or sauteing with oil need constant attention. If you have to leave your kitchen for any reason, turn off the stovetop. 

#2 Never abandon your turkey 

Whichever way you’re cooking your turkey, whether in the oven or frying it, never leave your home and check on it regularly. 

#3: Don’t sleep and cook

Often cooks will leave the turkey in the oven overnight, but we don’t recommend it. According to the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA), more than one-quarter of people killed in cooking fires were asleep at the time. If that’s the only way to cook your meal, trade shifts with your partner, so there’s always someone awake in case of an emergency. 

#4: Time everything

Some cooks prefer to eyeball when their dishes are done, but a timer is the safest way to cook. Thanksgiving often has many sides to attend to, and one dish can easily be forgotten about and left to burn or catch fire. A timer is an easy way to keep all of your cooking organized and under control- especially for those with longer cook times. 

#5: Keep things away from the cooking area

Never leave oven mitts, utensils, wrappers, towels, or other loose items near your cooking area. All items should be at least three feet away. 

#6: Avoid cooking in loose fabrics

If you’re cooking, be mindful of what you’re wearing and try to avoid loose fabrics or long sleeves- especially if you’re around a heat source. A loose sleeve can quickly catch fire if you’re not careful. 

#7: Know how to extinguish a fire properly 

Should the worst happen, knowing how to put out a fire will be vital in saving your kitchen. (And Thanksgiving meal.) 

  • For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed until you’re confident the fire is out. 
  • For a grease fire, smother the fire and NEVER use water. 

Be sure always to have a working fire extinguisher handy, and in an emergency, call your local fire department before things get too far out of hand. 

#8: Watch out for curious children and pets 

Keep kids and pets at least three feet away from the stove, as well as hot liquids and foods. From putting their hands on the counter to grab something or touching a hot plate- the kitchen on Thanksgiving day is an easy place for little ones to get burned and seriously hurt. 

As if these tips weren’t enough, here are some statistics to help better understand the leading causes for home cooking fires according to the NFPA

  • 31% were due to unattended equipment
  • 10% were due to abandoned or discarded material 
  • 9% were due to a heat source too close to combustibles 
  • 9% were due to unclassified misuse of materials 
  • 8% were due to failure to property clean 
  • 8% were due to unintentionally turning on or not turning off an appliance 

Stay Protected This Holiday Season with TGS Insurance

We want you to have a safe and carefree holiday season, and your insurance coverage should be the last thing on your mind! At TGS Insurance, we offer our clients peace of mind knowing that you’re covered, whatever the situation may be. We offer specialized home insurance policies curated specifically for your needs and budget. Get your hassle-free home insurance quote today in 15 seconds or less (we mean it) and see why over 15,000 Texans trust TGS Insurance for all of their insurance needs! 

About Katie Rosario

Katie has been in the marketing industry for over 10 years and has a strong passion for writing great content. She has been writing for TGS Insurance for three years and strives to make every piece of content she works on informative and easy to read. In her spare time, she enjoys baking and spending time with her family.