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Thanksgiving is by far the leading day for US home cooking fires

There are more than three times as many home cooking fires on Thanksgiving as a typical day of the year, making it by far the leading day for US home cooking fires, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).  This is a powerful reminder to use caution when cooking this year's Thanksgiving feast.

Follow these tips and recommendations for cooking safety this Thanksgiving:

  • Stay in the kitchen when you are coooking on the stovetop so you can keep an eye on the food.
  • 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.
  • 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 wamer 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 children alone in a room with a lit candle.
  • Make sure your smoke alarms are working.  Test them by pushing the test button.

The NFPA discourages the use of turkey fryers, which can lead to devastating burns, other injuries, and property damage. NFPA strongly suggests looking instead to grocery stores, specialty food retailers and restaurants that sell deep-fried turkeys as a safe alternative.

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Christmas Tree Safety 

 As you deck the halls this holiday season, be fire smart.  A small fire that spreads to a Christmas tree can grow large very quickly.

Picking the tree

  • Choose a tree with fresh, green needles that do not fall off when touched.

Placing the tree

  • Before placing the tree in the stand, cut 2" from the base of the trunk.
  • Make sure the tree is at least three feet away from any heat source, light fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights.
  • Make sure the tree is not blocking an exit.
  • Add water to the tree stand.  Be sure to add water daily.

Lighting the tree

  • Use lights that have the label of a recognized testing laboratory. Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use.
  • Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Read manufacturer's instructions for number of light strands to connect.
  • Never use lit candles to decorate the tree.
  • Always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving home or going to bed.

After Christmas

  • Get rid of the tree after Christmas or when it is dry. Dried-out trees are a fire danger and should not be left in the home or garage, or placed outside against the home.
  • Check with your local community to find a recycling program.
  • Bring outdoor electrical lights inside after the holidays to prevent hazards and make them last longer.


  1. More than one of every four home Christmas tree fires is caused by electrical problems.
  2. Although Christmas tree fires are not common, when they do occur, they are more likely to be serious.
  3. A heat source too close to the tree causes one in every four of the fires.

Winter Holiday Safety

Winter holidays are a time for families and friends to get together. But that also means a greater risk for fire.  Following a few simple tips will ensure a happy and fire-safe holiday season.Flamless Candle surrounded by holiday decorations

Holiday Decorating

  • Be careful with holiday decorations.  Choose decorations that are flame resistant or flame retardant.
  • Keep lit candles away from decorations and other things that can burn.
  • Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use, but not both.
  • Use clips, not nails to hang lights so the cords do not get damaged.
  • Keep decorations away from windows and doors.

Before Heading out or to Bed

  • Blow out lit candles when you leave the room or go to bed.
  • Turn off all light strings and decorations before leaving home or going to bed.


  1. More than one-third of home decoration fires are started by candles.
  2. More than two of every five decoration fires happen because decorations are placed too close to a heat source.