Focus on Fire Safety: Holiday Cooking

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Cooking fires continue to be the most common type of fires experienced by U.S. households. This is even more apparent during the holidays. There is an increased incidence of cooking fires on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve Day, and Christmas Day. Cooking fires are also the leading cause of civilian fire injuries in residences. These fires are preventable by simply being more attentive to the use of cooking materials and equipment.

Don’t become a cooking fire casualty. Learn the facts about cooking fire safety today!

Safe Cooking Tips

The kitchen can be one of the most hazardous rooms in the home if you don’t practice safe cooking behaviors. Here are some safety tips to help:

If You Have a Cooking Fire

Nuisance Smoke Alarms

If a smoke alarm sounds during normal cooking, you may need to move it farther away from the kitchen (according to manufacturer’s instructions) and/or install a smoke alarm with a pause button.

If your alarm already has a pause button, push the pause button, open the door or window, and fan the area around the alarm with a towel to get the air moving. Do not disable the smoke alarm or take the batteries out!

Treat every smoke alarm activation as a likely fire and react quickly and safely to the alarm.

Turkey Fryer Safety Tips

Source: Underwriters Laboratories

Burns and Scalds

Most burns associated with cooking equipment, cookware, and tableware are not caused by fire or flame. In 2009, ranges or ovens were involved in an estimated 17,300 thermal burn injuries seen in U.S. hospital emergency rooms. (Source: NFPA) Microwaves are a leading cause of scald burns. Be extra careful when opening a heated food container. Heat food in containers that are marked ‘microwave safe.’ Since foods heat unevenly in the microwave, make sure you stir and test the food before eating.

Protecting Children from Scalds and Burns

Children under five face a higher risk of non-fire burns associated with cooking than of being burned in a cooking fire. (Source: NFPA) You can help prevent these injuries by following a few basic tips:

Also, teach children that hot things burn!