With an increase of public education and community awareness, Mesa Fire and Medical Department officials say they have not seen a surge nor have responded to grease fires resulting from turkey fryers during the Thanksgiving holiday over the past several years.
They did offer the following information and tips:
- Cooking fires are the leading cause of residential fires. According to the National Fire Protection Association (based on 2009-2013 annual averages):
- Two-thirds (66%) of home cooking fires started with the ignition of food or other cooking materials.
- Clothing was the item first ignited in less than 1% of these fires, but these incidents accounted for 18% of the cooking fire deaths.
- Ranges accounted for the largest share (61%) of home cooking fire incidents. Ovens accounted for 16%.
- More than half (54%) of reported non-fatal home cooking fire injuries occurred when the victims tried to fight the fire themselves.
- Some tips include:
- Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stovetop so you can keep an eye on the food. Many of these fires are as a result of unattended cooking.
- Stay in the home when cooking your turkey and check on it frequently.
- Keep children away from the stove. The stove will be hot and kids should stay 3 feet away.
- Make sure kids stay away from hot food and liquids. The steam or splash from vegetables, gravy or coffee could cause serious burns.
- Cooking fire VOs.
- SOTs with Mesa Fire and Medical Department representatives about cooking safety and how to stay safe in the kitchen.
- Also, an emphasis on the importance of working smoke alarms in providing a warning to escape a fire.
- In addition, know how and when it is appropriate to use a fire extinguisher.