Thanksgiving Fire Prevention

How to keep safe during the holiday

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Video: Dangers of Using a Turkey Fryer General Fire Safety Tips Activities and Tips for Kids During Thanksgiving

More than three times as many home cooking fires occur on Thanksgiving Day as on a typical day of the year, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

Flambe Fire In Frying Pan

There were 1,600 reported home cooking fires on Thanksgiving in 2017, reflecting a 238 percent increase over the daily average.

Unattended cooking was the leading cause of these fires, according to the National Fire Protection Association.

Video: Dangers of Using a Turkey Fryer

Dangers of Turkey Fryers

NFPA joins CPSC to demonstrate the fire dangers of turkey fryers in this live burn. NFPA strongly discourages the use of turkey fryers.

General Fire Safety Tips

The kitchen is the heart of the home, especially at Thanksgiving. There are seven easy things you can do to prevent fires:

turkey in an oven with the door open

1. Never leave the kitchen while cooking on the stovetop. Some types of cooking, especially those that involve frying or sautéing with oil, need continuous attention.

2. When cooking a turkey, stay in your home and check on it regularly.

3. Make use of timers to keep track of cooking times, particularly for foods that require longer cook times.

4. Keep things that can catch fire like oven mitts, wooden utensils, food wrappers, and towels at least three feet away from the cooking area.

Source: National Fire Protection Association

couple cooking with man putting cut onions into a pot

5. Avoid long sleeves and hanging fabrics that could come in contact with a heat source.

6. Always cook with a lid beside your pan. If you have a fire, slide the lid over the pan and turn off the burner. Do not remove the cover because the fire could start again. Let the pan cool for a long time. Never throw water or use a fire extinguisher on the fire.

7. For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed. Only open the door once you’re confident the fire is completely out, standing to the side as you do. If you have any doubts or concerns, contact the fire department for assistance.

Activities and Tips for Kids During Thanksgiving

Kids love to be involved in holiday preparations. Safety in the kitchen is important, especially on Thanksgiving Day when there is a lot of activity and people at home.

Safety Tips

  • Keep children at least three feet away from the stove and away from the hot liquids. 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, matches and lighters out of the reach of children and make sure cords from a coffee maker, or mixer are not dangling off the counter within easy reach of a child.
  • Never leave children alone in room with a lit candle.
  • Kids can get involved in Thanksgiving preparations with recipes that can be done outside the kitchen.
father coloring with daughter


Games and activities can help to keep kids out of the kitchen during this busy time. Here are a few:

  1. Find the hidden items picture game and coloring page. Play now
  2. Thanksgiving Mad Libs download

Contact Information

Raleigh Fire Department: or NFPA, Public Education Division:



Raleigh Fire Department

NFPA, Public Education Division



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Fire Education