Keep Fires Out of Your Thanksgiving Kitchen

24 November 2021

Thanksgiving's unattended cooking is a leading cause of fire damages and fire-related deaths. Follow these few methods to have a safe and enjoyable Thanksgiving.

Man in the kitchen holding burnt food with smoke all around.

Each year, insurance claims are filed in response to home fires occurring around the nation as people gather to celebrate the holidays. When it comes to Thanksgiving, having a big turkey spread with all the fixings is a staple to celebrating the day. With so many cooks at the helm, cooking fires are a common occurrence during this time of year. According to the National Fire Protection Association, Thanksgiving's unattended cooking is a leading cause of fire damages and fire-related deaths. Thanksgiving is also the day where many ambitious cooks attempt their hand frying a turkey, which is a huge cause of grease fires that can leave behind quite the smoke residue mess. 

Frying Turkeys, although delicious, can be a serious fire hazard if not handled appropriately. Often problems can begin when the frying process is too close to the house or when it’s in the garage. When the sizzling grease of the fryer connects with the open flame below, the situation can quickly turn dangerous and destructive. If you are frying a turkey for the holiday this year, be sure to have a game plan and check out our tips below. 

  1. Be sure the turkey is completely thawed before putting placing it into the fryer. Turkeys not thawed completely can run the risk of causing grease to splatter.
  2. Never leave the fryer unattended and keep an eye on the temperature of the grease.
  3. Keep curious children and pets away from the area to prevent tipping.
  4. Have fire extinguishers in the vicinity. 

When it comes to your fire extinguisher, be sure to check the classification. There are four main classifications of fire extinguishers and each are suited to putting out different types of fires. Classifications range from normal, everyday combustibles, to grease fires, to even flammable metals. Be sure you have the appropriate extinguisher, or a multi-purpose extinguisher, to fit your cooking needs.

If a fire does occur and quickly spreads out of hand, don’t put yourself in danger attempting to fight it. Many fire-related injuries occur in this fashion. Get everyone to safety and call the fire department. 

General fire safety tips to keep in mind this season.

  • Check your fire alarms to ensure proper battery power 
  • Don’t leave cooking, whether by a fryer, oven, or stovetop, unattended
  • Make sure lit candles aren’t crowded by other belongings and have plenty of vertical space above them.
  • Consider having your chimney professionally cleaned to clear out build-up that can cause combustion

There are many precautionary steps you can take to prevent a house fire. A conversation with your insurance agent can help you understand what is exactly covered in your homeowner's policy should property damages occur. This is an important step to understand how much you are covered should a fire occur and not only affect the structure but your contents as well. The time to find out if you have the appropriate amount of insurance coverage is not when you’ve experienced a loss. Talking with your agent is a key piece to having a workable insurance coverage plan.

Stay attentive this holiday season and enjoy a safe and enjoyable Thanksgiving!

I’ve had a home fire. Now what?

Emergency board-up and tarp over services may be required to protect the structure and will occur as soon as the building is safe to do so.