Home cooking fires occur in record numbers on Thanksgiving Day, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). In 2005, Thanksgiving meal preparation caused 1,300 kitchen fires — three times more than the usual daily average. Annually, cooking fires cause more than half a billion dollars in damage to U.S. homes.
For a safe and happy Thanksgiving meal this year, NFPA offers the following cooking safety tips:
"Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, or broiling food.
If you must leave the home for even a short period of time, turn off the stove or oven.
If you are simmering, baking, boiling or roasting food, check it regularly and remain in the home while food is cooking. Use a timer to remind you that the stove or oven is on.
Stay alert. Don’t cook if you are sleepy, have been drinking alcohol or have taken medicine that makes you drowsy.
Keep things that burn – pot holders, oven mitts, paper or plastic – off your stovetop.
Don’t store things that can burn in an oven, microwave, or toaster oven.
Clean food and grease off burners, stovetops and ovens.
Wear clothing with sleeves that are short, close fitting, or tightly rolled up.
Keep kids away from cooking areas by enforcing a ‘kid-free zone’ of 3 feet (1 meter) around the stove.
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."
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