WACO, TX — According to the National Fire Prevention Association, home fires on Thanksgiving day are three times more as likely to happen than on any other day of the year. With the increase in cooking, cooking fires are three-times more likely to happen.
In 2017, 1,600 home cooking fires were reported. That is a 238 percent increase over the daily average.
Lieutenant Keith Guillory said the influx in calls on Thanksgiving day are not a shock to the Waco Fire Department and it takes early preventative measures to make sure everyone is safe.
"Check your carbon monoxide detectors, check your smoke detectors, make sure you do a double or triple check before you leave the house make sure your oven is cut off make sure your burner is cut off," Lieutenant Guillory said.
With this being the busiest time of year, everyone is stressed and in a rush to get where they need to be. The Waco Fire Department wants to remind you that rushing is not worth it. Try to relax and take extra time in making sure everything is shut off before you leave the house.
It's also important to have a fire extinguisher handy. Lieutenant Guillory says it should be placed somewhere right outside the kitchen in plain view.
"You want it visible and accessible, most home fires will happen inside the kitchen so you don't want to have to cross the fire to get to the fire extinguisher," Lieutenant Guillary said.
Here are other tips that the National Fire Protection Association gives:
- Never leave the kitchen while cooking on the stovetop. Some types of cooking, especially those that involve frying or sautéing with oil, need continuous attention.
- When cooking a turkey, stay in your home and check on it regularly.
- Make use of timers to keep track of cooking times, particularly for foods that require longer cook times.
- Keep things that can catch fire like oven mitts, wooden utensils, food wrappers, and towels at least three feet away from the cooking area.
- Avoid long sleeves and hanging fabrics that could come in contact with a heat source.
- Always cook with a lid beside your pan. If you have a fire, slide the lid over the pan and turn off the burner. Do not remove the cover because the fire could start again. Let the pan cool for a long time. Never throw water or use a fire extinguisher on the fire.
- For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed. Only open the door once you’re confident the fire is completely out, standing to the side as you do. If you have any doubts or concerns, contact the fire department for assistance.
- Keep children at least three feet away from the stove. Kids should also stay away from hot foods and liquids, as steam or splash from these items could cause severe burns.