ATLANTA – On the roads this Thanksgiving, drivers need to take extra caution. But, cooks in the kitchen also need to be extra cautious this holiday.
“In past years we have had numerous fatal fires which were cooking-related,” Georgia Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner Ralph T. Hudgens said in a news release. “Many fires are caused by a stove that has been accidentally left on.”
Officials have a few simple tips for avoiding cooking calamities this Thanksgiving, including installing enough smoke detectors, setting a timer when cooking and never use a cooking stove to heat a home. In addition, officials suggest households have a fire extinguisher handy and an evacuation plan at the ready.
Most fatal fires happen between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m., when families are sleeping, according to officials.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), Thanksgiving is the leading day for cooking fires. On Thanksgiving in 2008, firefighters nationwide responded to 1,300 home cooking fires – an increase from the daily average of 420.
“Thanksgiving can be a whirlwind of cooking and entertaining guests,” Lorraine Carli, vice president of communications for NFPA, said in a news release. “With so much multitasking taking place, fire hazards around the oven or stovetop can easily be overlooked. Cooks should be conscious of fire safety this Thanksgiving whether the menu is meant to serve two or 20.”
Between 2005 and 2009, firefighters nationwide responded to an average of 155,400 per year that involved cooking.