NFPA President Jim Shannon spoke today about gearing up for a fire-safe Thanksgiving holiday at an event co-hosted by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the United States Fire Administration (USFA) and NFPA. The groups urged consumers to be aware that the threat of fires in the kitchen triples on Thanksgiving Day. Safety messages were reinforced with full-scale fire demonstrations that underscored the seriousness of cooking fires.
From 2009 through 2011, there was an average of about 1,300 cooking fires on Thanksgiving Day, according to CPSC. This is more than three times the average daily rate from 2009 through 2011 of about 400 cooking fires a day.
“As fire safety experts have said for years, ‘Stand by your pan!’” said CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum. “If you are frying, grilling or broiling food, stay in the kitchen. Not following this advice can be a recipe for disaster on Thanksgiving and throughout the year.”
Since 2003, there have been more than 125 turkey fryer-related fires, burns, explosions, smoke inhalations, or laceration incidents reported to CPSC staff.
“Turkey fryer fires can be explosive and result in serious burns,” said Glenn Gaines, Deputy U.S. Fire Administrator for the United States Fire Administration (USFA). “Only use a turkey fryer outside and away from your home. Never use it in a garage or on a porch. Don’t overfill the oil or leave the turkey fryer unattended.”
Consumers should also protect themselves by installing smoke alarms in their homes.
“Roughly three out of five home fire deaths happen in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms,” said Jim Shannon, President of the National Fire Protection Association. “Smoke alarms save lives. Having a working smoke alarm cuts the chances of dying in a fire in half.”
Change the batteries in smoke alarms at least once every year and test the alarms every month to make sure they are working.