Fire Chief offers Thanksgiving safety tips

November 21,2023

More home cooking fires occur in the United States on Thanksgiving Day than any other day during the year and the Enterprise Fire Chief wants to remind citizens of the importance of safety during the holiday festivities.

“For many people, especially at Thanksgiving, the kitchen is the heart of the home,” Chief Christopher Davis said. “As you start to prepare your feast, keep fire safety top of mind so that everyone can have an enjoyable holiday.”

Davis said unattended cooking was by far the leading contributing factor in cooking fires.  According to the National Fire Protection Association, in 2021 an estimated 1,160 home cooking fires were reported nationally on Thanksgiving alone, a 297% increase over the daily average.

He offered the following simple safety tips:

  • Stay in the kitchen when cooking to keep an eye on the food.
  • Keep children away from the stove, hot foods and liquids. Setting a three foot “kid-free zone” will keep them out of harms’ way. The steam or splash from vegetables, gravy or other hot liquids could cause serious burns.
  • Be sure electric cords from appliances like a mixer or electric knife are not dangling off the counter within easy reach of a child.

For those who want a fried turkey on their table, Davis issued a warning.

“Turkey fryers that use cooking oil aren’t safe.  These fryers use a lot of oil at extremely high temperatures, which can cause devastating burns,” Davis said.

Instead, he encouraged people to purchase one from a local store or restaurant and to leave the frying to the professionals.

Davis also reminded residents to check their smoke alarms monthly, and if they haven’t changed the batteries, to do so.

“Having a working smoke detector in your home greatly reduces the risk of dying in a house fire.  Taking the time to check the alarms to make sure they’re working, replacing the batteries if needed, and practicing an escape plan with your family will help allow you to continue to celebrate the holidays with family for many holidays to come.”