While Thanksgiving is the most celebrated holiday in the United States, it also is the peak day for home cooking fires, as reported by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). A hectic cleaning schedule coupled with a lot of cooking activity may cause homeowners to overlook some hazards that have the potential to cause a fire. The experts at ServiceMaster of the Upstate recommend watching out for the following fire hazards to keep Turkey Day safe and enjoyable.
Thanksgiving Home Fire Hazards
- Leaving food unattended while cooking Thanksgiving dinner is the leading factor contributing to fires in homes. Check the stove and oven frequently and use a timer to keep track of cooking times.
- For those using the oven and stovetops, remember to turn off the power when the cooking is done. Multiple dishes, pots, and pans can be going at the same time. It is not unusual to cook multiple dishes at once so that the veggies are nice and crispy, the sauce simmers perfectly and of course, the turkey is golden.
- When removing a pot from the stovetop to pour its contents into a dish or setting the sweet potatoes on a tray, make sure that you turn the electrical burners off. Any utensils, towels or loose clothing in close contact with a heat source can catch on fire within seconds.
- For those using a deep fryer, set up the deep fryer at least 10 feet away from the home on flat ground. Make sure children and pets remain clear from the area. Use a thawed turkey to avoid the extra spillover as the oil will bubble furiously with extra water from a frozen turkey. Never leave the deep fryer unattended and always make sure to have a fire extinguisher ready.
- You need to make yourself familiar with the extinguisher and teach your family members how to use it as well.
- With friends and family coming over for Thanksgiving dinner, candles are great for decorations and can really set the mood. However, if mishandled, candles pose a serious risk of fire for the home.
- Most fires start because candles are usually forgotten, and while a candle is a beautiful decoration during the holidays, make sure to place them away from any flammable objects such as curtains or table cloths.
- Most importantly, blow all the candles out when the party is over.
- Use flameless candles with timers and remote controls to eliminate the risk of any fires while keeping a beautiful setting at Thanksgiving dinner.
- Preparing a Thanksgiving dinner usually involves the use of multiple appliances like slow cookers, toaster ovens, food processors, and mixers. Your overnight guests may also bring additional devices, chargers, and hair dryers.
- Older homes may not have the wiring capacity to handle the increased amounts of appliances. In addition, using extension cords can increase the risk of danger as the extra power may cause the system to overload and cause an electrical fire.
- Make sure to unplug devices and small appliances when not in use to avoid any electrical surge in the homes.
How To Put Out a Grease Fire
The majority of cooking fires begin with oil becoming too hot, boiling and eventually turning from smoke into flames. These are called grease fires, or Class K fires.
Here’s how to put out a grease fire:
- Cover the fire immediately. You can use a lid or cookie sheet to put out a grease fire. Leave this cover on until the flames are gone and the metal is cool to the touch. This helps prevent oxygen from continuing to fuel the fire.
- Turn off the heat source. Turning off the stove or burners used will prevent the grease or oil from continuing to be heated. While this will help, do not remove the pan from the stove. You may drop the pan or cause burning grease to spread throughout your home, placing yourself at risk of harm.
- Do not pour water on the fire. It can cause the grease to splash and the flames to spread. This is caused by the water vaporizing in the intense heat, causing grease to splash as the water vapor escapes.
- Using a Class K fire extinguisher should be your last resort. A grease fire can be difficult to put out without the proper tools. If you don’t have a Class K fire extinguisher, call 911.
Contact Us for Fire Damage Restoration in Spartanburg, SC
ServiceMaster of the Upstate is on-call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at (864) 310-7891. We service commercial properties in Greenville, Saluda, Spartanburg, Newberry, and Laurens, South Carolina, and the surrounding areas.
- FREE inspections and estimates
- Over 10 years of experience
- IICRC-certified firm in Greenville, South Carolina
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Don’t know what to do next? We do. Contact us today. You may also message us online through our contact form to schedule an appointment. Our office is located at 170 Old Airport Road, Roebuck, South Carolina 29376.