Fire officials: Cooking fires 3-4 times more likely on Thanksgiving Day

(ABC 6 News) – The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is urging added caution when preparing Thanksgiving dinner, as Thanksgiving Day represents the leading day of the year for home cooking fires.

According to the NFPA, between 3 and 4 times as many cooking fires occur on Thanksgiving Day than any other day of the year. Christmas Day and Christmas Eve ranked second and third, with both having nearly twice the daily average.

NFPA data shows that cooking was the leading cause of reported home structure fires and civilian fire injuries, and the second-leading cause of civilian fire deaths and direct property damage, on annual average between 2015-2019. On Thanksgiving Day alone, an estimated 1,400 home cooking fires were reported to U.S. fire departments in 2019, reflecting a 228% increase over the daily average.

“Thanksgiving is a hectic holiday, with multiple dishes cooking and baking at the same time, along with lots of guests, entertaining, and other distractions in the home that can make it easy to lose sight of what’s on the stove or in the oven,” said Lorraine Carli, vice president of Outreach and Advocacy at NFPA.

NFPA says unattended cooking is by far the leading contributing factor in cooking fire and fire deaths.

In addition, NFPA strongly discourages the use of turkey fryers that use cooking oil, which can cause devastating burns. For a safe alternative, NFPA recommends purchasing a fried turkey from a grocery store or restaurant or buying a fryer that does not use oil.

For safety tips and recommendations from NFPA, CLICK HERE.