Thanksgiving fire safety warnings

Posted at 12:23 PM, Nov 21, 2018

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires with unattended cooking being the leading cause.

NFPA statistics showed U.S. fire departments responded to 1,570 Thanksgiving Day home cooking fires in 2016.

"Three out of five cooking fires happen from the stovetop," said Sharon Cooksey, marketing and communications manager for Kidde North America.

Kidde is one of the largest manufacturers of smoke alarms and fire safety equipment.

7 Eyewitness News Reporter Ed Reilly spoke with Cooksey to learn more about protecting yourself while cooking Thanksgiving meals.

Cooksey's advice:

-Set up a three (3) foot safety zone around hot appliances to keep out kids and pets.

-Keep flammable items, like towels and oven mitts, a least one (1) foot away from hot stoves.

-Use timers for everything on the stove.  It is easy to be distracted with family and kids while an item is cooking.  Some experts recommend putting timers throughout the house to remind you that something is on/in the stove.

-When cooking with oil or grease, a smoking pan means fire is about to break out.  Cover the pan with a lid and turn off the burner.  Do not uncover the pan until it fully cools.  Taking the lid off can allow oxygen to ignite the hot oil/grease.

-Never, never, never throw water on a grease fire.  It will cause the grease fire to expand in an explosive way.  You can see an dramatic example of this in the attached video clips.

-Don't disable your kitchen smoke alarm because it is too easy to forget to put the batteries back in.  False alarms can be a nuisance when cooking, so keep kitchen smoke alarms ten (10) feet from your stove.

-Newer kitchen smoke alarms come with a built-in carbon monoxide (CO) detector and a "hush" button for nuisance alarms.

-Have a properly rated fire extinguisher on all levels on your home - especially in the kitchen.  Make sure the extinguisher is A-B-C rated to handle kitchen fires.

-Remember that home fire extinguishers are only meant to handle small fires or to provide you a way to escape a fire.  If the fire is large, get everyone out and call 911.



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