A golden-brown turkey with delicious sides may be part of the perfect Thanksgiving feast, but Ohio’s fire marshal notes that the real centerpiece for the holiday festivities is to stay alert and practice patience in the kitchen.
“More cooking fires occur on Thanksgiving than any other day of the year, and it’s not hard to see why,” said state Fire Marshal Kevin S. Reardon. “Between cleaning, taking care of children and cooking multiple dishes at a time, there’s no shortage of distractions in and around the kitchen. Staying alert and paying attention to what you’re cooking can go a long way in ensuring those distractions don’t have tragic consequences.”
According to a news release from the state fire marshal’s office, the National Fire Protection Association states that on Thanksgiving Day alone, around 1,400 home cooking fires are reported to U.S. fire departments annually, more than three times an average day.
There are steps you can take to stay safe:
• Do not leave any cooking area unattended.
• Set a timer as a reminder of the food you are preparing.
• Maintain a “kid-free zone” of 3 feet around the stove or areas where hot food or drinks are being prepared.
• Keep paper towels and napkins away from hot surfaces.
• Keep deep-fried turkey cooking out of the garage, away from your home, and wooden structures.
• Before frying a turkey, place it in the fryer and cover it with water to determine the exact amount of oil you will need to prevent a fire caused by overflow.
• Have an appropriate fire extinguisher handy.
• If the situation becomes more serious, evacuate and call 911.
“Many wonderful holiday celebrations this time of year can be ruined by fires that are most often preventable, so it’s important to remain vigilant and stay safe in the kitchen,” Reardon said.
If you have to file an insurance claim, take photographs or video of the damage and immediately contact your insurance agent or company. Provide complete and accurate information when submitting a claim to avoid delay.
Residents can call the Ohio Department of Insurance at 1-800-686-1526 or visit insurance.ohio.gov if you have insurance questions and concerns. Additional safety tips are available from the State Fire Marshal’s Office at com.ohio.gov/fire