by Monica Cryan | Fellowship Program, OEM Public Affairs  November 22, 2016

This season, don’t let all that you are thankful for go up in flames.

Cooking, candles, and decorations increase the risk for fires during Thanksgiving and the holidays. The average number of reported residential fires on Thanksgiving Day is more than double the average number of fires on all other days. However, the average losses for Thanksgiving Day fires were less than the same measures for non-Thanksgiving Day fires. This shows that many of these fires are preventable. Unattended cooking is the leading contributing factor in cooking fires and fire deaths.

Prevention Information from the Philadelphia Fire Department

  • Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stove-top so you can keep an eye on the food.
  • Stay in the home when cooking your turkey and check on it frequently.
  • Keep children away from the stove. The stove will be hot and kids should stay 3 feet away.
  • Make sure kids stay away from hot food and liquids. The steam or splash from vegetables, gravy or coffee could cause serious burns.
  • Keep the floor clear so you don’t trip over kids, toys, pocketbooks or bags.
  • Be sure electric cords from an electric knife, coffee maker, plate warmer or mixer are not dangling off the counter within easy reach of a child.
  • Keep matches and utility lighters out of the reach of children — up high in a locked cabinet.
  • Never leave children alone in room with a lit candle.
  • Make sure your smoke alarms are working. Test them by pushing the test button. If you do not have a smoke detector, the City has one for you, at no cost. The Philadelphia Fire Department will even install it for you. Contact the Philadelphia Fire Department or Philly 311, the City’s non-emergency number for services.

Become Fire Ready

  • Sit down to develop, and practice, an escape plan for you and your family.
  • Establish an emergency plan, which includes a contact list, meet-up locations, and building a go-bag.
  • Include everyone in your home. Be aware of those with access and functional needs.
  • Pets are family too. Include them in your plan. Check out more Thanksgiving and holiday fire tips from our partners at Red Paw Emergency Relief.
  • Be connected to emergency information through free ReadyPhiladelphia alerts. Details, which may include evacuations and shelters being opened, are sent to your phone or computer as text or email alerts.


Deep Fryer Safety

The National Fire Prevention Association believes turkey fryers that use cooking oil are not suitable for safe use by even a well-informed and careful consumer. Fryers hold a large amount of extremely hot cooking oil. The use of turkey fryers by consumers can lead to devastating burns, other injuries, and the destruction of property. NFPA urges those who prefer fried turkey to seek out professional establishments, such as grocery stores, specialty food retailers, and restaurants, for the preparation of the dish.


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