Fire Departments Stress Cooking Safely on Thanksgiving

HYANNIS – As the nation celebrates Thanksgiving, fire safety officials are asking that residents prioritize safety while preparing their holiday dinner.

According to the Massachusetts Department of Fire Services, more house fires happen on Thanksgiving than any other day of the year and the majority are cooking fires.

Last year, Massachusetts firefighters responded to 123 fires that caused several injuries and over $1.4 million in damages.

Residents are asked to check to make sure that their oven is empty before turning it on, as well as wear short or tight-fitting sleeves while cooking.

Pot handles should also be turned inward over the stove, and cooks are asked to “stand by their pan” and stay in the kitchen when boiling, frying or broiling.

“Start with a clean oven, a clean stove top, and always make sure that everything is attended. Don’t have things cooking in the oven and then walk away or leave the house,” said Michael Grossman, Fire Prevention Officer with the Centerville-Osterville-Marstons Mills Fire Department.

If a fire occurs on the stove top, Grossman advised residents that the best thing to do is place a non-combustible lid on the pot or pan and turn off the heat.

“Never try to carry a fire away from the stove and over to a sink and put water on it, because that will make the situation a lot worse.”

For an oven or broiler fire, the oven doors should be kept shut and the heat also turned off.

When it comes to outdoor, gas-fueled turkey fryers that immerse the turkey in hot oil, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) discourages their use entirely.

They said that the risk of an oil spill or the ignition of spilled oil is quite high even for well-informed and careful consumers, and encourages residents to use “oil-less” turkey fryers instead.

Grossman also said that residents should check their smoke and carbon monoxide alarms as part of cooking safely this holiday season.

About Grady Culhane

Grady Culhane is a Cape Cod native currently living in Eastham. He studied media communications at Cape Cod Community College and joined the News Center in 2019.
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