Thanksgiving & Cooking Safety


  • Cooking fires are the #1 cause of home fires and home fire injuries in the United States.
  • There is almost three times the daily average number of cooking fires on Thanksgiving Day.
  • Unattended cooking is the leading cause of kitchen fires.
  • Thanksgiving Day fires in residential structures cause more property damage and claim more lives than residential structure fires on other days.

Preventing cooking fires

  • Never leave hot food or appliances unattended while cooking.
  • Always be alert when you are cooking.  If you are under the influence of medication or alcohol, avoid using the stove. 
  • Keep anything that can catch on fire at least 3 feet from the stove, toaster oven, or other heat source.
  • Keep the stovetop, burners, and oven clean.
  • Do not wear loose fitting clothes when you are cooking as they may catch fire from the stove top burner.
  • If you are frying, grilling or broiling food, stay in the kitchen.  If you are baking, boiling, or simmering food, check the food frequently, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.

Preventing burns and scalds

  • To prevent hot food or liquid spills, use the stove’s back burner and/or turn pot handles away from the stove’s edge.
  • Keep all appliance cords coiled, away from the counter edges and out of children’s reach, especially if the appliances contain hot foods or liquids.
  • Use oven mitts or potholders when carrying hot food.
  • Open hot containers from the microwave slowly and away from the face.
  • Never use a wet oven mitt, as it presents a scald danger if the moisture in the mitt is heated.

Keeping Kids Safe

  • Create a 3 foot Kid Free Zone around the stove.  Young children should be more than 3 feet from any place where there is hot food, drinks, pans or trays.
  • Never hold a child while cooking, drinking, carrying or drinking hot foods or liquids.
  • Hot food and items should be kept from the edge of counters and tables.
  • Do not use a tablecloth or placemat if very young children are in the home as they can very easily pull the tablecloth or placemat and get burned if hot food or liquids are on the table. 
  • When children are old enough, teach them to cook safely and always with help from an adult.


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