Thanksgiving with family

The Day before Thanksgiving is the Second-Leading Day for Home Cooking Fires

At NFPA, we put a lot of effort to promoting the importance of cooking safety on Thanksgiving Day, which makes sense, considering it’s the peak day of the year for home cooking fires. According to our latest Home Cooking Fires report, 3.5 times as many cooking fires occur on Thanksgiving as an average day. But the day before Thanksgiving deserves attention too, as it serves as the second-leading day for home cooking fires.

As fire departments and other safety advocates work to ensure cooking safety in their communities, it’s important to remind everyone that it’s not only Thanksgiving Day that the likelihood of cooking fires spikes. It’s the time many of us spend preparing in advance of the big feast that the risk increases as well.

Following are tips and recommendations from NFPA for cooking safely on Thanksgiving and in advance of the holiday as well:

  • Never leave the kitchen while cooking on the stovetop. Some types of cooking, especially those that involve frying or sautéing with oil, need continuous attention.
  • When cooking a turkey or other items in the oven, stay in your home and check on it regularly.
  • Set a timer on your stove or phone to keep track of cooking times, particularly for foods that require longer cook times.
  • Keep things that can catch fire like oven mitts, wooden utensils, food wrappers, and towels away from direct contact with the cooking area.
  • Avoid long sleeves and hanging fabrics that could come in contact with a heat source.
  • Always cook with a lid beside your pan. If you have a fire, slide the lid over the pan and turn off the burner. Do not remove the cover because the fire could start again. Let the pan cool for a long time. Never throw water or use a fire extinguisher on a grease fire.
  • For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed. Only open the door once you’re confident the fire is completely out, standing to the side as you do. If you have any doubts or concerns, contact the fire department for assistance.
  • Keep children at least three feet away from the stove and areas where hot food or drink is being prepared or served. Steam or spills from these items can cause severe burns.

Use our Thanksgiving safety tips sheet and other Thanksgiving fire safety resources to help ensure that everyone enjoys a festive, fire-safe holiday.


Sign up for the NFPA Network Newsletter
Susan McKelvey
Communications Manager

Related Articles