Most Home Kitchen Fires Occur On Thanksgiving Day

By Claire Caulfield
Published: Thursday, November 26, 2015 - 7:32am
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(Photo by Tim Sackton - CC BY 2.0)

The most home kitchen fires occur on Thanksgiving Day,  according to the International Association of Firefighters.

Thirty-four percent of fires on Thanksgiving Day are attributed to unattended cooking equipment, and nine percent are because of product misuse. Assistant Tempe Fire Chief Paul Nies said Tempe sees a lot of problems with turkey fryers. Nies said people should take into account how much room the turkey will take up in the fryer before pouring the oil.

“The reason behind that is once the oil gets in there, if you drop a turkey in and the oil overflows, it will contact the flame, and the flames can be spectacular,” Nies said.

Nies also said that anyone who wants to fry a turkey should make sure the turkey is fully thawed. In addition, he recommended always reading instruction manuals and using common sense. He recalled one Thanksgiving in which a couple was attempting to smoke a turkey in the oven.

“They had not soaked the cedar chips, they simply threw them in the bottom of their oven, and it takes a little while, but once (the cedar chips) heat up, they burn nicely, and what they ended up doing was destroying the oven and the turkey.”

Christmas day and Christmas eve are also busy days for the fire department Nies said. 

“Keep a count of how many candles you light during the holiday season,” said Nies. “And always check that your fireplace is clean and in working order before you even buy the wood.”

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Thanksgiving Fire Safety