Big Bear, Ca, November 22, 2010, 8:00am – The U.S. Fire Administration has issued a special report that examines the characteristics of Thanksgiving Day Fires in Residential Buildings.  According to the report, an estimated 2,000 Thanksgiving Day fires in residential buildings occur annually in the United States, resulting in an estimated average of 5 deaths, 25 injuries and $21 million in property loss. By far, the leading cause of Thanksgiving Day fires in residential buildings is cooking. These fires occur most frequently between noon and 4 pm. Smaller, confined fires account for 71% and larger non-confined fires account for 29% of Thanksgiving Day fires in residential buildings. Smoke alarms weren’t present in 20% of non-confined Thanksgiving Day fires in occupied residential buildings. Your local fire agencies remind everyone that crowded kitchens and busy cooks can lead to serious burns and tragic fires. Here are some tips:

  • Clean ovens and stovetops thoroughly before this marathon cooking day so that built-up grease cannot ignite.
  • Don’t leave cooking food unattended on the stove and don’t cook overnight.
  • Keep guests, especially children and pets, out of the kitchen.
  • Be sure pot handles are facing away from the front of the stove and that appliance cords are safely out of the way.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher handy and know how to use it.