Thanksgiving “exceptionally dangerous” time for house fires

Posted on November 19, 2018 by Staff reports

Thanksgiving is a day set aside for expressing gratitude, sharing with others and spending time with loved ones. However, Thanksgiving is also an exceptionally dangerous time of the year for house fires. According to U.S. Fire Administration, for each year from 2014 to 2016, an estimated 2,400 residential building fires were reported to fire departments in the U.S. on Thanksgiving Day and caused an estimated 5 deaths, 25 injuries and $19 million in property loss.
Santa Rosa County Emergency Management and Santa Rosa County fire districts would like to remind the community to take extra precautions during Thanksgiving week and enjoy family time, the Thanksgiving feast, football and other traditions.
Food Safety
  • Stay in the kitchen when using the stovetop and do not leave it unattended so you can catch spills before they become a fire hazard
  • Remain in the house when food is in the oven and check the oven regularly
  • Keep the prep area free of paper towels, dish cloths or packaging
  • Clean any spills as they occur
  • Remove tripping hazards from prep area, such as toys, bags, extra rugs and pet accessories
  • Turn pot handles toward the back of stove to prevent accidental bumping or knocking over
  • Keep children away from hot foods and liquids – the steam or splash can cause serious burns
  • Assure all knives are out of the reach of children
  • Be prepared – keep large pan lid or baking sheet handy in the event you need to smother a pan fire
  • DO NOT use water or flour on a grease fire
  • DO NOT move a pot or pan that is on fire
  • Refrigerate leftovers within two hours to prevent bacteria growth
  • Use the freezer to store leftovers for longer than three or four days
Turkey Preparation
  • Roasting a turkey – set a timer and check the oven frequently
  • Frying a turkey
    • Use a fryer with thermostat controls to prevent overheating the oil
    • Thaw turkey completely: ice will cause oil to splatter
    • DO NOT overfill pot with oil
    • Keep children and pets at least three feet away from fryer
    • ALWAYS use the fryer outdoors, but NOT on a deck, in the garage, or under an awning
Additional Fire Prevention
  • Double check that smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms are working
  • Keep matches and utility lighters out of the reach of children
  • Do not leave children unattended in a room with a lit candle