Follow safety tips to prevent Thanksgiving fires

Published 12:08 am Tuesday, November 23, 2021

By Holly-Anne Blevins

A cooking fire is three times more likely on Thanksgiving than on any other day of the year.

Most of those Thanksgiving Day fires occur between noon and 4 p.m. – the peak cooking hours.

Just a few extra moments of precaution can result in a safer holiday. When it comes to preparing your Thanksgiving dinner, firefighters remind you that many of those fires can be easily avoided by staying alert and in the kitchen while cooking.

Many home cooking fires are caused by unattended equipment, abandoned material, a heat source left too close to flammable materials, product misuse and cooking equipment that is not properly turned off. 

Turkey fryers, which use a large amount of cooking oil at high temperatures, also pose a significant danger and can lead to devastating burns, other injuries and the destruction of property. 

If you have a cooking fire, go outside, stay outside and call 911 for the help of your local firefighters. 

Thanksgiving is also when cooking-related burns increase.

To prevent scalds and burns, cook on back burners, and make sure all pot handles are turned inward so children don’t come into contact with them. Appliances that get hot, such as toaster ovens, should also be well out of a child’s reach. Have a kid-free zone of at least three feet around the stove and areas where hot food or drinks are prepared or carried.

For additional information about kitchen fire safety, please contact your local fire department, or visit the National Fire Protection Association’s website at

Holly-Anne Blevins is a certified firefighter, fire and life safety educator. She works for the Granite Quarry and New London fire departments.