Jackson, MS- Nationally, three times as many cooking fires occur on Thanksgiving Day than any other day of the year says the National Fire Protection Association. By recognizing the risks of the holidays and making simple adjustments, people can greatly reduce their chance of home cooking fires. This Thanksgiving, Commissioner of Insurance and State Fire Marshal Mike Chaney says there is a simple way to have a safe holiday.
“It is easy to get caught up in the festivities and excitement of the holidays, distractions make it easy to forget about what’s cooking on the stovetop in the kitchen,” Chaney said.
“Remember, unattended cooking is the leading cause of cooking fires, so don’t forget to stand by your pan,” Chaney said.
Use these safety tips from the State Fire Marshal’s Office when preparing your Thanksgiving meal and don’t forget to “stand by your pan.” Visit the Fire Safety section of the Be Prepared page of the MID website and view the fire safety videos.
Stand by your Pan
- Be on alert. If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol, don’t use the stovetop or oven.
- Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, or broiling food.
- If you must leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
- If you are simmering, baking, boiling or roasting food, check it regularly, remain in the home while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that the stove or oven is on.
- Keep in mind that you should avoid wearing loose clothing or dangling sleeves while cooking. Loose clothing can catch fire if it comes in contact with a gas flame or electric burner.
No kids allowed
- Keep kids away from cooking areas by enforcing a “kid-free zone” of 3 feet (1 meter) around the stove.
- If you have young children, use the stove’s back burners whenever possible, and turn pot handles inward to reduce the risk that pots with hot contents will be knocked over.
- Never hold a small child while cooking.
Keep it clean
- Keep anything that can catch fire—pot holders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, towels or curtains—away from your stovetop.
- Clean up food and grease from burners and the stovetop.
If you have a fire
- Just get out! When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire.
- Call 911 or the local emergency number after you leave. Be sure others are getting out and you have a clear way out.
- Keep a lid nearby to smother small grease fires. Smother the fire by sliding the lid over the pan and turn off the stovetop. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.
- For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.
Follow the Mississippi State Fire Marshal’s Office on Facebook and Twitter for more holiday fire safety tips.