Thanksgiving Day is #1 for Cooking Fires
Tuesday, November 24, 2009 - 5:01am
The City of Madison Fire Department and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) are calling on cooks to include fire safety in their recipes this week. Thanksgiving is the leading day for home cooking fires. U.S. firefighters responded to roughly 1,300 home fires involving cooking equipment on Thanksgiving in 2007, roughly three times the daily average of cooking fires, according to NFPA.
City of Madison Firefighters responded to one fire over the weekend in which grease ignited inside the oven where two turkeys were being roasted.
Cooking remains the leading cause of home fires. During 2003-2006, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 150,200 home structure fires involving cooking equipment per year.
Other key findings from the report on fires during 2003-2006:
•Cooking equipment was involved in 40 percent of all reported home fires
•Unattended cooking was by far the leading contributing factor in these fires.
•Three-fifths (57 percent) of reported home cooking fire injuries occurred when victims tried to fight the fire themselves.
The City of Madison Fire Department reminds residents:
Cook with Caution
•Be on alert! If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol, don't use the stove or stovetop.
•Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
•If you are simmering, baking, roasting, or boiling food, check it regularly, remain in the home while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.
•Keep anything that can catch fire - oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains - away from your stovetop.
If you have a cooking fire….
•Keep a lid nearby when you're cooking to smother small grease fires. Smother the fire by sliding the lid over the pan and turn off the stovetop. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.
•For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.
•If you try to fight the fire, be sure others are getting out and you have a clear way out.
•When in doubt, just get out! When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire.
•Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number after you leave.
- Lori Wirth, 608-205-1276