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The original item was published from 11/22/2021 2:25:32 PM to 11/28/2021 12:00:03 AM.

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Posted on: November 22, 2021

[ARCHIVED] Thanksgiving Cooking Tips


U.S Fire Departments responded to an estimated 172,900 home structure fires per year started from cooking activities in years 2014-2018. They are the number one cause of home fires. Accounting for 49% of home fires, resulting in 21% of home fire deaths and 45% of overall injuries sustained. The overwhelming majority of grease fires start on the stovetop, and 66% of home cooking fires start with the ignition of food or other cooking materials. 

Here are some helpful ways to avoid having your Thanksgiving ruined by fire:

  • Always stay in the kitchen when cooking.
  • Take special care to monitor the stovetop even more closely when cooking with oils or high temperatures.
  • Ever have any of the hot oil popped off your pan and hit you? That same oil can ignite surrounding areas.
  • Keep anything that is a hazard to catching fire, such as food packing, oven mitts, and paper towels, away from the stovetop. This includes assuring the pot/panhandle is turned away from the traffic area.
  • Always wear snug-fitting long sleeves or short sleeves clothing (dangling attire or items hanging off your body may hang or brush over a hot burner and catch fire or knock something onto the burner to catch fire).
  • Before cooking, already have all your ingredients and any other kitchen utensils within a safe, easy to reach distance to avoid having to reach over a hot stove and possibly being injured.

What do we do if a pan or food does catch fire?

  • If on the stovetop, carefully slide a lid over the pan, turn off the burner and always allow the pan to cool before removing the lid.
  • You can also sprinkle baking soda on a stovetop fire
  • If in the oven, simply turn the oven off and unplug if you can do so safely. NEVER open the door!
  • If you decide to go the Fire Extinguisher route, remember the P.A.S.S (pull, aim, squeeze, sweep) method, always remembering to aim at the base of the fire. You never want to put out a pan or food fire with water!

Finally, DO NOT run if your clothes are on fire. Running will only make the fire larger.

Stop what you are doing immediately, lower or drop yourself to the floor, and roll over and over until the fire is out if your clothing catches fire.

The Douglas County Fire Department, we would like to wish you and your family a very happy and safe Thanksgiving!


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