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November 19, 2014 – Cooking is, and has long been, the leading cause of home structure fires and home fire injuries, and according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), home cooking fires peak on major U.S. holidays that traditionally include cooking such as Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Easter.
NFPA’s 2013 “Home Fires Involving Cooking Equipment” report states that in 2011, Thanksgiving was the leading day for home cooking fires, with three times as many fires occurring on this holiday as any average day of the year. In 2011, there were 1,210 fires on Thanksgiving, a 183 percent increase over the daily average.
“Thanksgiving is a fun and festive holiday, but it can also be very hectic,” said Lorraine Carli, vice president of Outreach and Advocacy for NFPA. “Hosting and entertaining guests can cause distractions and it’s easy to forget about what’s cooking in the oven and on the stovetop.”
NFPA’s “Kitchen for Trouble” video stars cartoon character Dan Doofus. Dan has to learn the hard way how to prevent cooking fires.
Overall, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 156,600 home fires involving cooking equipment from 2007 – 2011 per year. These fires caused an annual average of 400 civilian deaths, 5,080 civilian injuries and $853 million in direct property damage.
“By recognizing the risks of the holidays and making simple adjustments, however, people can greatly reduce their chance of home cooking fires,” said Carli.
In the “Thanksgiving Fire Safety Tips” video, NFPA’s Lisa Braxton discusses a few simple measures to help ensure a safer Thanksgiving Day.
Keep things that can catch fire such as oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels and curtains away from the cooking area.
Be alert when cooking. If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol, don’t use the stove or stovetop.
If you have a small (grease) cooking fire and decide to fight the fire:
If you have any doubt about fighting a small fire:
NFPA also discourages the use of turkey fryers, a popular cooking method on Thanksgiving. The use of turkey fryers can lead to devastating burns and other injuries, and the destruction of property due to the large amount and high temperature of oil used. NFPA urges those who prefer fried turkey to look for grocery stores, specialty food retailers and restaurants that sell deep fried turkeys. Find more information about the dangers of turkey fryers on NFPA’s cooking equipment safety webpage. A turkey fryer safety tips sheet is also available to download.
Additional resources for Thanksgiving and other cooking safety tips can be found on NFPA’s Cooking Fire Safety Central webpage. Download NFPA’s cooking safety tips sheet, smoke alarms and cooking infographic, and cooking safety infographic for easy access and to share with family and friends.
About the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
NFPA is a worldwide leader in fire, electrical, building, and life safety. The mission of the international nonprofit organization founded in 1896 is to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life by providing and advocating consensus codes and standards, research, training, and education. NFPA develops more than 300 codes and standards to minimize the possibility and effects of fire and other hazards. All NFPA codes and standards can be viewed at no cost at www.nfpa.org/freeaccess.
Contact: Lorraine Carli, Public Affairs Office: +1 617 984-7275
Did you know that roughly half of home fire deaths result from fires reported between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m., when most people are asleep?
Smoke alarms save lives. If there is a fire in your home, smoke spreads fast and you need smoke alarms to give you time to get out. In fact, having a working smoke alarm cuts the chances of dying in a reported fire in half!
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Summer season: peak time for grilling fires
As the warmer temperatures are upon us, backyard chefs everywhere are dusting off their grills, eager to spring into the long-awaited barbeque season. Holding a barbecue should be a safe and fun experience for everyone. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends that grillers pay particular attention to safety in the spring and summer months when home fires involving grilling incidents occur most often.
Three out of five households own a gas grill, which translates to a lot of tasty meals. But it also means there’s an increased risk of home fires. Each year an average of 8,800 home fires are caused by grilling, and close to half of all injuries involving grills are due to thermal burns. While nearly half of the people who grill do so year-round, July is the peak month for grilling fires followed by May, June and August.
While gas grills contribute to a higher number of home fires overall than their charcoal counterparts, everyone needs to be reminded that all types of grills pose a risk for fires and burn injuries. More than one-quarter (27 percent) of home structure grill fires started on a courtyard, terrace or patio, while 29 percent started on an exterior balcony or open porch, and six percent began in the kitchen.
“As we get outdoors to enjoy the warmer temperatures, grilling will become more active. Be sure your grill is working properly and review safety tips,” advises Tom Bowden, President of the Wicomico County Fire Chiefs Association. “It’s good practice to check for damage before using the grill for the first time each year. Propane gas hose leaks or breaks were the leading factors contributing to gas grill fires. Along with checking for hose damage, clean and check the entire grill regularly.”
When grilling, the following safety tips are recommended:
This safety reminder brought to you by the Wicomico County Fire Chiefs Association.
Wicomico County Fire Chiefs Association
CHANGE LANES WHEN APPROACHING STOPPED EMERGENCY VEHICLES.