Fire Safety for the Home on Thanksgiving

Posted by Omega Security on November 25, 2013

Thanksgiving is a time of year when the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) spends a lot of energy spreading the word about cooking safety. With so much focus on the festivities, it’s very easy to lose sight of just how dangerous the holidays can be if we’re not prepared and cautious.

Be Aware

Here’s what you need to know for ideal fire safety for the home: Cooking is the leading cause of all residential fires, and home fires double on Thanksgiving. The reason why the NFPA invests so many resources into the lead-up to T-Day is that the fires on that day take more lives, cause more injuries and property damage than the fires on any other day of the year.

Smoke Alarms

The first step toward optimal fire safety for the home is proper fire safety systems, such as smoke alarms. At the very least, you should have a smoke alarm in the kitchen. Be sure to refresh the batteries and test the unit prior to the big day. Ideally, you should have fire alarms throughout the home that are integrated into a monitored security system; this way, you’re sure that emergency services are dispatched in a timely manner in the event of a fire.

Kitchen Prep

Prepare your kitchen for the event, which is particularly important if you’ll have multiple cooks in there. Rearrange your kitchen to maximize the available space. Consider removing all curtains, towels and other flammable items that present a risk. Be sure that all appliances are serviced, well-ventilated and connected to a wall outlet in a safe and appropriate manner. Have a 2.5-pound multipurpose dry chemical fire extinguisher on hand and no more than 10 feet away from the main stove.

Kitchen Rules

Establish rules for the kitchen that everyone must follow. Consider setting stations, which will prevent cooks from getting in each other’s way. Make it a rule that no pets, kids or adults with alcoholic beverages are allowed in the kitchen until the meal is served. You might assign one person as a gofer who can bring drinks and snack items from the kitchen into the gathering area.

Kitchen Safety

The best fire safety systems won’t matter if you don’t practice good safety habits. Clean the entire kitchen a day or two before Thanksgiving. All cooks should wear practical, tight-fitting clothing. Never leave the cooking area unattended. If you must leave momentarily, turn off all appliances until you return. Be sure to clean as you go. If a fire does occur, don’t use water; use the fire extinguisher, and if you can’t put the fire extinguisher out within three blasts, call 911.thanksgiving-omegasecurity

Turkey Frying

For best fire safety for the home, the NFPA recommends not frying turkeys at all; in fact, they won’t even approve any of the models currently on the market due to safety concerns. Frying does have appeal, however, such as speed and less heat from cooking in the home. If you choose to fry, do so outdoors, on pavement and five feet or more away from the home or other objects.


Choose your fire safety systems with care, but remember that preparation and caution are the most important factors when it comes to fire safety. If you have a plan and follow through on it, then you and your family can enjoy a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving Day.