Fire departments urge residents to exercise fire safety this holiday season

NORMAN, Okla. – As Oklahomans are shopping and preparing for their extravagant Thanksgiving  meals, the Norman Fire Department is proactively reminding everyone to put safety at the top of their lists.

The leading day for cooking fires and for residential structure fires, as well as fire injuries, is on Thanksgiving. Incorporating fire safety into your preparations will mean the difference between a holiday meal for your family or having to call the fire department to put out a blaze in your kitchen.

According to the National Fire Protection Agency, over 5,000 fire injuries and nearly $855 million in property damage were reported from Thanksgiving cooking fire incidents in recent years.

These incidents accounted for two of every five reported home fires and home fire injuries, as well as 16% of home fire deaths and 12% of the direct property damage resulting from home fires.

The Norman Fire Department recommends the following cooking safety tips:

    • 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, even a short period of time, turn off the stovetop.
    • If you are simmering, baking, roasting, or boiling food, check it regularly. Always remain in the home while food is cooking, and set a timer to remind yourself to check-on the items cooking.
    • Keep anything that can catch fire like oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels, or curtains away from your stovetop.
    • Keep a lid nearby when you’re cooking to smother small grease fires. Smother the fire by sliding the lid over the pan and quickly turning off the stovetop. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.
    • If a fire occurs in your oven, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.
    • If you try to fight the fire, ensure that you have a clear way out and that any other people inside the home begin to safely evacuate.
    • When in doubt, just get out! When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire. Call 9-1-1 once safely outside of the home.

The Oklahoma City Fire Department released a video on twitter in response to the call to safety.

If you follow these safety tips, your holiday should be merry and bright!  (too soon?)