Fire officials: Thanksgiving is top day for cooking fires

Fire photo of a Shelton Fire Department truck.
Fire photo of a Shelton Fire Department truck.

The Shelton Fire Department is urging the public to keep safety in mind when preparing holiday meals and using candles.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, Thanksgiving remains the leading day for cooking fires, with three times as many cooking fires as on an average day.

Most fires that result during cooking can be avoided by paying attention and being organized. To prevent a fire or injury and stay safe when cooking and celebrating Thanksgiving, follow these rules:

— Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, or broiling food.

— If you must leave the home for even a short period of time, turn off the stove or oven.

— If you are simmering, baking, boiling or roasting food, check it regularly and remain in the home while food is cooking. Use a timer to remind you that the stove or oven is on.

— Stay alert. Don’t cook if you are sleepy, have been drinking alcohol or have taken medicine that makes you drowsy.

Keep flammable items off stovetop

— Keep things that burn, such as pot holders, oven mitts, paper or plastic, off the stovetop.

— Don’t store things that can burn in an oven, microwave, or toaster oven.

— Clean food and grease off burners, stovetops and ovens.

— Wear clothing with sleeves that are short, close fitting, or tightly rolled up.

Use a lid to smother a pan fire

— Always keep an oven mitt and lid nearby when you're cooking. If a small grease fire starts in a pan, put on an oven mitt and smother the flames by carefully sliding the lid over the pan. Turn off the burner. Don't remove the lid until it is completely cool.

— If there is an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed to prevent flames from burning you and your clothing. Have the oven serviced before you use it again.

Keep turkey fryers away from house, deck

— Use turkey fryers outdoors, away from the home and deck. Always monitor oil temperature.

— Keep children away from the stove. The stove will be hot and kids should stay three feet away.

— Make sure your smoke alarms are working. Test them by pushing the test button.

Be careful with lit candles

Don’t forget about lit candles. Place them in a safe location that is kept free of combustible surroundings. Consider where combustible items might be placed and where candles could be knocked over and where they could be forgotten about over time.

Never leave children alone in room with a lit a candle.

Of course, battery powered, flameless “candles” are always preferred are becoming more available in retail stores, and through retail websites.

For more information

For additional information on fire safety and specific guidelines on safe cooking, turkey fryers and candles, visit the Shelton Fire Prevention Bureau website under Public Safety at: