Thanksgiving is the peak day for cooking fires according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).  Faribault Fire Chief Dustin Dienst told KDHL AM Minnesota listeners today it's "frustrating" because cooking fires are totally preventable.

The leading cause of fires in the kitchen are unattended cooking with most cooking fires involving the kitchen stove.

Close to 50% of all home fires are cooking fires.  Next leading causes are heating equipment (12.5%) and electrical malfunction (6.3%).

There is a house fire in this country every 87 seconds.

The Faribault Fire Chief suggests people stay in the kitchen when cooking to keep an eye on things.  The NFPA says if you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time you should turn off the stove.

Dienst has suggested many times not to have anything combustible near the stove.  Oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels, curtains.

The NFPA suggests a "kid-free zone" of at least 3 feet around the stove and areas where hot food or drink is prepared or carried.

Keep the floor clear in the kitchen so you don't trip over kids, toys, pocketbooks or bags.

Be sure electric cords from an electric knife, coffeemaker, plate warmer, mixer, etc...are not dangling off the counter within easy reach of a child (or pet).

Keep knives out of the reach of children. Of course this is good advice all year.

Make sure your smoke alarms are working.  If you are hosting a gathering push the test button.

NFPA says you should have activities for the kids to do to keep them out of the kitchen.  Games, puzzles or books can keep them occupied.  Kids can get involved in Thanksgiving preparations with recipes that can be done outside the kitchen.

Dienst says deep frying turkeys can be dangerous if you don't pay attention to what you are doing.

Below is a podcast of the show which we recommend you listen to if you didn't get the opportunity to hear it live so you have a safe Thanksgiving.

If you have a small (grease) cooking fire and decide to fight the fire...on the stovetop smother the flames by sliding a lid over the pan and turning off the burner.  Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.

For an oven fire turn off the heat and keep the door closes.

If you have any doubt about fighting a small fire 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 from outside the home.

  • According to NFPA statistics more than 3,000 Americans die in fires each year.
  • Every day at least 1 child dies from a fire inside the home.
  • On average, 358,500 homes experience a home structural fire each year.

If you ever need to use a fire extinguisher remember the PASS instructions.

  • P-pull the pin
  • A-aim low at the base of the fire
  • S-squeeze the handle slowly
  • S-sweep the nozzle side to side

We also touched on Christmas lights and Christmas tree safety.

Dienst says the Faribault Fire Department hopes everyone stays safe this holiday season.

Listen to the podcast of the program below.

Here is more information from the NFPA.

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