Fire officials say fire dangers increase during Thanksgiving

City of Columbia fire officials say it's important to remember that accidents can still happen

Image: Columbia Fire Department

Image: Columbia Fire Department

Columbia, SC (WOLO) — While 2020 has been a year of transition and adjustments to a myriad of changes there is one thing that the fire officials hope will change is the frequency of house fires related to cooking. Fire officials say while family and friends gather as they continue safeguarding against the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the risk of a major house fire is always a risk. According to fire officials, that risk goes up for families who step outside of the kitchen to deep fry their holiday turkeys.

Columbia-Richland Fire Chief Aubrey Jenkins says you should always be on alert when you are in the kitchen cooking saying,

“No matter the size of your gathering, accidents while cooking can still happen,” said Columbia-Richland Fire Chief Aubrey D. Jenkins, “this can cause major injuries and significant property damages if a fire breaks out. Our department is once again encouraging everyone to remain attentive and practice safety in the kitchen or if they plan to deep-fry a turkey outside.”

According to the National Fire Protection Association, Thanksgiving is the most common time home fires take place. Christmas Day is the second. Officials also say out of the house fires and/or injuries sustained in house fires, nearly half of them are the result of cooking. According to NFPA between 2014 to 2018, cooking is noted as the second leading cause of deadly house fires.

Here are a few safety tips to keep in mind to make sure you have a happy and safe Thanksgiving holiday.

  • 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.
  • Keep the floor clear so you don’t trip over kids, toys, pocketbooks or bags.
  • Keep knives out of the reach of children.
  • Be sure electric cords from an electric knife, coffee maker, plate warmer or mixer are not dangling off the counter within easy reach of a child.
  • Keep matches and utility lighters out of the reach of children — up high in a locked cabinet.
  • Never leave a lit candle unattended nor sleep while candles are lit.
  • Make sure your smoke alarms are working. Test them by pushing the test button.
  • If you have a small grease fire on your stovetop and decide to fight it, smother the flames with a lid cover and turn off the burner. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled. If the grease fire is in the oven, close the door and turn the oven off.

Have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!

Categories: Local News