Thanksgiving remains the leading day for cooking fires, with three times as many cooking fires as an average day. That’s according to statistics by the nonprofit National Fire Protection Association, which also found that cooking equipment fires are still the leading cause of U.S. home fires and fire injuries, and the third leading cause of fire deaths.
“On Thanksgiving day, the kitchen is a busy place,” says Jim McAllister, Chief at Occoquan-Woodbridge-Lorton Volunteer Fire Department. “Accidents and cooking fires are at an all time high during this holiday.”
Unattended cooking is a leading contributing factor in cooking equipment fires. O.W.L. V.F.D. wants residents to plan ahead and be safe during the holiday, and recommends following these tips from the NFPA:
Cook with caution:
- Be on alert! If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol, don’t use the stove or stovetop.
- Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
- If you are simmering, baking, roasting, or boiling food, check it regularly, remain in the home while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.
- Keep anything that can catch fire — oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains — away from your stovetop.
If you have a cooking fire:
- For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.
- Just get out! When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire.
- Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number after you leave.
OWL VFD is one the largest and busiest volunteer fire departments in the United States with over 300 members. OWL VFD provides fire suppression, EMS care, and rescue services to 80,000 residents in our 27 square mile area through the operation of three fire stations. OWL volunteer Firefighters and EMTs work the 6 pm to 6 am shift, seven days a week, plus 24/7 holidays and weekends.
For more information on OWL VFD, visit www.owlvfd.org or become a fan on Facebook at Occoquan-Woodbridge-Lorton Volunteer Fire Department