PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Thanksgiving is fast-approaching, so Portland Fire & Rescue is giving Portlanders some safety tips to ensure that their holiday doesn’t go up in flames.
Portland Fire says that cooking causes nearly half of reported home fires and about 42% of home fire injuries. Home fires are even more of a concern around the upcoming holiday, when many use hot oil to deep fry turkeys.
Thanksgiving is the leading day for home cooking fires, with more than three times the daily average. Christmas Day and Christmas Eve trail behind with almost two times the daily average.
For some of these incidents, the result is more than just a turkey-less Thanksgiving.
“For each year from 2017 to 2019, an estimated average of 2,300 residential building fires were reported to fire departments in the U.S. on Thanksgiving Day,” the U.S. Fire Administration reports. “These fires caused an estimated annual average of 5 deaths, 25 injuries and $26 million in property loss.”
PF&R and the National Fire Protection Agency shared tips to keep families safe as they’re preparing their dinners for Thursday night.
- If you’re cooking on the stovetop, don’t leave it unattended. The National Fire Protection Association says unattended cooking is the primary cause of cooking fires and casualties.
- Refrain from wearing loose-fitting clothes while cooking. Clothing that drapes off of your body could create a fire hazard.
- Stovetops, knives, electric cords, matches, and utility lighters should be kept out of children’s reach.
- Push the test button on your smoke detectors to ensure that the alarm works properly.
- When deep-frying a turkey, choose a flat outdoor spot that is at least 10 feet away from the house or garage.
- Your turkey should be thawed and dry. Water and oil hardly mix well, and if they do, the oil could bubble and spill over.
- Safety gear, such as an apron, goggles, and oven mitts, can protect you from potential oil burns while turkey-frying.
- Keep a fire extinguisher nearby just in case an oil fire occurs.
- See the full list of safety tips here.
“Traditional meals may vary throughout our city, but the dangers of home accidents and fires is ever present, regardless of the meal being served,” PF&R said.