Thanksgiving is one of the busiest days for home fires.
Elmont, NY - November 8, 2018 - Thanksgiving is one of the most joyous times of the year, a time when friends and family gather together in celebration. The Elmont Fire Department offers some simple advice and tips to help residents stay safe during the holiday. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), in 2015, fire departments in the United States responded to an estimated 1,760 home cooking fires on Thanksgiving, making it the busiest such day of the year. Unattended cooking is by far the leading cause of home fire deaths and injuries.
“This is the time of year that we come together and give thanks with our family and friends, and for all that we have,” says Chief Joey Luckman, Elmont Fire Department. “We strongly urge all Long Islanders to take fire safety seriously this holiday season, and to follow some simple tips to avoid a tragedy. We wish everybody a very happy and safe Thanksgiving and ask that nobody ever hesitate to call 9-1-1 in the event of an emergency, even on a holiday!”
The most common factors in home cooking fires and ways to avoid them:
Unattended Cooking - the leading cause of fires in the kitchen: Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short time, turn off the stove. If you are simmering, baking, roasting, or boiling food, check it regularly. Remain in the home while food is cooking and use a timer to remind yourself that you are cooking, as guests, phones, children, pets and other activity can easily distract a cook.
Objects near the cooking catching fire: Clothing ignitions lead to approximately 16 percent of home cooking fire deaths. It is important to wear short, close-fitting, or tightly rolled sleeves as loose clothing can dangle onto stove burners or gas flames and catch fire. Keep the cooking area clean and combustible materials away from your stove top: built-up grease as well as oven mitts, food packaging, wooden utensils, towels, curtains and other materials on or near the stove can catch fire.
Cooking equipment unintentionally turned on or not turned off. Be on alert! If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol don’t use the stove or stovetop. Have children turned the stove on?
Deep-frying turkeys: Turkey fryers that immerse the turkey in cooking oil at high temperatures pose a significant danger of hot oil being released or spilled during cooking, leading to devastating burns, other injuries and property destruction.
Hot cooking oil exposed to water or outdoor elements: If rain or snow strikes hot cooking oil in propane-fired turkey fryers designed for outdoor use, the result can be a splattering of the hot oil or a conversion of the precipitation to steam, which can lead to burns. Frozen and defrosting turkeys also create the risk of contact between water and hot cooking oil, which can cause severe scalding or other serious injury.
Also, never fry a frozen turkey. Please click here for more information from the NFPA and a video demonstrating how dangerous this is.
If you do have a cooking 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.
For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.
Do not use water to put out a grease fire. Use an appropriate fire extinguisher, or baking soda, salt, or a tight lid. Keep the lid nearby when you’re cooking, 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. Always keep a box of baking soda near the stove.
Please visit the NFPA’s website, www.nfpa.org, for more information on fire safety.
About Elmont Fire Department
Established in 1928, the Elmont Volunteer Fire District has over 150 volunteer members serving the community as firefighters and emergency response personnel. One of the most diverse departments on Long Island, the Department’s tradition is “Neighbors Helping Neighbors”. To learn about joining the Elmont Fire Department, please call 516-354-4560.