Thanksgiving is almost here! In between baking pies and defrosting birds, you may not have realized that everyone’s favorite eating holiday is the peak day for home cooking fires. That’s according to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), a division of the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA).
The greatest risk of cooking fires comes from frying food. According to the USFA, 67% of home cooking fires start when food or the cooking materials catch on fire, while 55% of injuries occur when people try to fight the fires themselves. Frying a turkey is dangerous because there are often several people in the area and the fryer is easy to tip over, spilling hot oil. An overfilled pot will spill over once the turkey is lowered in, and even a slightly frozen turkey will cause the oil to splatter everywhere. Even a small amount of oil on a burner can start a large fire; more than one Thanksgiving has been ruined by a call to 911. Baking the turkey may seem safer, but cooks still need to remain alert in the kitchen. True, 67% of cooking fires start when food or materials catch on fire, but 58% of them started on the range. Another 16% start in ovens.
Fire Safety Tips
To keep Thanksgiving safe for everything but your diet, USFA suggests these tips:
- Stand by your pan. If you have to leave the room, turn off the burner. While this is important in the case of sautéing onions, it’s vital in the case of frying a turkey. There’s bound to be someone who can supervise in your place. If anything starts smoking or grease begins to boil, turn off the heat.
- Turn pot handles toward the back of the stove. The holidays mean people are in and out of the kitchen, and kids tend to run, despite what you tell them. A pot handle sticking out from the range is asking to be bumped.
- Keep a pan lid or cookie sheet within reach. In case of fire, either can extinguish the flames.
Fire Damage Restoration and Costs
If the unthinkable happens in Fremont and surrounding Alameda County, CA, call ServiceMaster Disaster Restoration and Recovery as soon as the fire is out. We’ll be there within 1-2 hours to assess the situation and prevent the damage from becoming permanent. Our five step fire damage restoration service covers emergency pre-cleaning, content cleaning, content pack-out, wall and ceiling cleaning and odor removal. Our technicians are trained, licensed and insured. Our cleaners can remove soot from delicate items such as brass, chrome, aluminum, porcelain, tile, carpet and upholstery.
Kitchen fires may seem small, but they can set you back a lot of money. The average cost to restore the damage from a fire is $2,000-5,000.