Thanksgiving Safety

The kitchen is the heart of the home, especially at Thanksgiving. However events in the kitchen can cause heartache as unattended cooking fires are by far the leading factor in home fires and Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires.

The Salt Lake City Fire Department encourages everyone to be safe while making Thanksgiving meals this week.

A key way to be safe is to stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stovetop. That way you can keep an eye on the food. You should also stay in the home when you are cooking your turkey, and you should check on it frequently.

Should a small cooking fire occur involving grease, make sure to cover the fire and deprive it from oxygen. Throwing water onto a grease fire will only add to the fire and make it bigger.

If you cannot immediately extinguish a small cooking fire, exit the house and call 911.

Since kids love to be involved in holiday preparations, safety in the kitchen is important when there is a lot of activity and people at home. You should:

  • Keep children away from the stove (the stove will be hot and kids should stay three feet away)
  • Make sure kids stay away from hot food and liquids because the steam or splash from vegetables, gravy or coffee could cause serious burns
  • Keep the floor clear so you don’t trip over kids, toys, pocketbooks or bags
  • Keep knives out of the reach of children
  • Be sure electric cords from an electric knife, coffee maker, plate warmer or mixer are not dangling off the counter within easy reach of a child

Because frying poses the greatest risk of fire, we encourage everyone using turkey fryers to exercise extreme caution. Turkey fryers use a substantial quantity of cooking oil at high temperatures, and units currently available for home use pose a significant danger that hot oil will be released at some point during the cooking process. The use of turkey fryers by consumers can lead to devastating burns, other injuries and the destruction of property.

Turkey fryers should only be used outdoors, and far enough away from any structures so that if a fire does occur the fire cannot reach a home or garage.