(KOTA TV) - Family and friends gather for Thanksgiving, but the added distractions make it the leading day for home cooking fires. According to the Home Fire Involving Cooking Equipment report put out by the National Fire Protection Association, Thanksgiving Day in 2015 had four times the amount of fires as any other day. The day prior to Thanksgiving came in second.
On average, fire departments responded to 170,200 home fires caused by cooking between 2011 and 2015. A total of 510 fire deaths, 5,470 fire injuries and $1.2 billion in property damage was reported. In many cases, food left to cook unattended was the main cause of fires.
“At Thanksgiving, when people are cooking multiple dishes and entertaining guests, it’s easy to get distracted,” said Lorraine Carli, NFPA’s vice president of Outreach and Advocacy. “These distractions may prompt them to walk away from the kitchen or forget something is cooking on the stovetop or in the oven. These factors can all increase the likelihood of a cooking fire.”
The NFPA recommends several tips to stay safe while cooking:
-Stay in the kitchen while cooking to keep an eye on food
-Use a timer to keep track of time
-Check the stove or oven often
-Don’t cook when drinking alcohol or when you are sleepy
-Keep flammable items such as towels, oven mitts and wooden utensils away from the cooking area
-Keep kids away from stovetops, hot food and hot liquids
Per concerns of burns, other injuries and property destruction due to the use of hot oil, the NFPA also recommends buying fried turkey from a store rather than using a turkey fryer.
For more information or to view the complete report, visit the National Fire Protection Association’s webpage.