HomeNewsArticle Display

Thanksgiving cooking safety

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Everyone should have "safety first" on their minds this Thanksgiving when they step into the kitchen to prepare their feast.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, or NFPA, cooking fires are three times more likely to occur on Thanksgiving than any other day of the year. In 2004, cooking equipment was involved in 1,040 reported home structure fires on Thanksgiving, which was three times the daily average that year.

NFPA studies show cooking fires are the No. 1 cause of home fires and home fire injuries. Cooking fires also cause roughly half a billion dollars in direct property damage to homes and the belongings inside.

Officials say it can be easy to get wrapped up in entertaining guests, but it is important to remember to stay in the kitchen and monitor meal preparation closely as most cooking fires start because cooking has been left unattended.

People may look to vary the traditional turkey entrée by using a turkey fryer, but due to the unique fire and injury hazards associated with this specific piece of equipment, the NFPA recommends against their use.

The deep-frying process requires that up to five gallons of oil be heated before placing the turkey into the device. Tests have shown that a number of available turkey fryer devices are not sturdy and can easily tip over, allowing hot oil to spill, creating a serious risk of fire or scald burn from contact. There also have been reports of turkey fryers overheating, which can also lead to hot oil spilling or splattering outside the fryer, which is again a recipe for dangerous fires, serious injuries and property loss.

If having fried turkey is a must this Thanksgiving, the NFPA recommends that consumers turn to commercial sources where professionals will prepare their entrée with a safety and skill unlikely to be matched at home. Some supermarkets and restaurants accept orders for fried turkeys during the holiday season.

The NFPA offers these tips for safer cooking:

Stand by the pan
-- Stay in the kitchen when frying, grilling or broiling food.
-- If it is necessary to leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
-- When simmering, baking, boiling or roasting food, check it regularly, remain in the home while food is cooking and use a timer.
-- Avoid wearing loose clothing or dangling sleeves while cooking. Loose clothing can catch fire if it comes in contact with a gas flame or electric burner.

No children allowed
-- Keep children away from cooking areas by enforcing a "child-free zone" of 3 feet around the stove.
-- Use the stove's back burners whenever possible, and turn pot handles inward to reduce the risk of pots with hot contents getting knocked over.
-- Never hold a small child while cooking.

Keep it clean
-- Keep anything that can catch fire, such as pot holders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, towels or curtains, away from the stove top.
-- Clean up food and grease from burners and the stove top.

For more information on the NFPA, visit their Web site at www.nfpa.org.
USAF Comments Policy
If you wish to comment, use the text box below. AF reserves the right to modify this policy at any time.

This is a moderated forum. That means all comments will be reviewed before posting. In addition, we expect that participants will treat each other, as well as our agency and our employees, with respect. We will not post comments that contain abusive or vulgar language, spam, hate speech, personal attacks, violate EEO policy, are offensive to other or similar content. We will not post comments that are spam, are clearly "off topic", promote services or products, infringe copyright protected material, or contain any links that don't contribute to the discussion. Comments that make unsupported accusations will also not be posted. The AF and the AF alone will make a determination as to which comments will be posted. Any references to commercial entities, products, services, or other non-governmental organizations or individuals that remain on the site are provided solely for the information of individuals using this page. These references are not intended to reflect the opinion of the AF, DoD, the United States, or its officers or employees concerning the significance, priority, or importance to be given the referenced entity, product, service, or organization. Such references are not an official or personal endorsement of any product, person, or service, and may not be quoted or reproduced for the purpose of stating or implying AF endorsement or approval of any product, person, or service.

Any comments that report criminal activity including: suicidal behaviour or sexual assault will be reported to appropriate authorities including OSI. This forum is not:

  • This forum is not to be used to report criminal activity. If you have information for law enforcement, please contact OSI or your local police agency.
  • Do not submit unsolicited proposals, or other business ideas or inquiries to this forum. This site is not to be used for contracting or commercial business.
  • This forum may not be used for the submission of any claim, demand, informal or formal complaint, or any other form of legal and/or administrative notice or process, or for the exhaustion of any legal and/or administrative remedy.

AF does not guarantee or warrant that any information posted by individuals on this forum is correct, and disclaims any liability for any loss or damage resulting from reliance on any such information. AF may not be able to verify, does not warrant or guarantee, and assumes no liability for anything posted on this website by any other person. AF does not endorse, support or otherwise promote any private or commercial entity or the information, products or services contained on those websites that may be reached through links on our website.

Members of the media are asked to send questions to the public affairs through their normal channels and to refrain from submitting questions here as comments. Reporter questions will not be posted. We recognize that the Web is a 24/7 medium, and your comments are welcome at any time. However, given the need to manage federal resources, moderating and posting of comments will occur during regular business hours Monday through Friday. Comments submitted after hours or on weekends will be read and posted as early as possible; in most cases, this means the next business day.

For the benefit of robust discussion, we ask that comments remain "on-topic." This means that comments will be posted only as it relates to the topic that is being discussed within the blog post. The views expressed on the site by non-federal commentators do not necessarily reflect the official views of the AF or the Federal Government.

To protect your own privacy and the privacy of others, please do not include personally identifiable information, such as name, Social Security number, DoD ID number, OSI Case number, phone numbers or email addresses in the body of your comment. If you do voluntarily include personally identifiable information in your comment, such as your name, that comment may or may not be posted on the page. If your comment is posted, your name will not be redacted or removed. In no circumstances will comments be posted that contain Social Security numbers, DoD ID numbers, OSI case numbers, addresses, email address or phone numbers. The default for the posting of comments is "anonymous", but if you opt not to, any information, including your login name, may be displayed on our site.

Thank you for taking the time to read this comment policy. We encourage your participation in our discussion and look forward to an active exchange of ideas.