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Why Thanksgiving Day has the highest number of cooking fires of the year

By in Press Enterprise on November 22, 2017

By Imran Ghori

Thanksgiving Day often comes with many distractions in the kitchen, which has resulted in the holiday having the highest number of home-cooking fires, according to safety experts.

On Thanksgiving, there are four times as many kitchen fires as a typical day and about twice as many as Christmas Day, according to figures from the National Fire Protection Association.

In 2015, there were 1,760 fires that day nationally while the daily average for home-cooking fires is 490, according to the association. Between 2011 and 2015, such fires caused an average of 510 deaths, 5,470 reported injuries and $1.2 billion in property damage per year, the group states.

“Unattended cooking is the biggest cause of all,” said Paul Netter, a spokesman for Southern California Edison. “Most of that unattended cooking is frying and sauteing.”

The company has put together fire safety tips for the holiday.

One important piece of advice is to pay attention, especially with stove top cooking. The holiday and the large amount of cooking involved in a house full of relatives can often lead to distractions.

“Our typical causes to kitchen fires is food being left unattended while it is cooking,” Riverside Fire Battalion Chief Bruce Vanderhorst said. “Often times, citizens will leave a pot on a stove forget to turn off the burner and go out to run an errand. ”

The Riverside Fire Department has put out a public safety video on avoiding Thanksgiving Day fires.

Damaged appliance and extension cords are another leading cause of fires and electrical accidents. Netter suggested that people check their cords and replace any that are frayed or worn.

Cooking equipment was the cause of almost half the kitchen fires reported, according to the fire association.

Some tips from Edison and fire officials include:

  • Keep a working fire extinguisher and smoke alarms.
  • Have a pot […]    

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