Thanksgiving: Keeping it fun, delicious, and safe!

Thanksgiving Turkey Safety Tips

Did you know that Thanksgiving Day is the leading day for home cooking fires?

Statistics show that cooking fires are three times more likely to occur on Thanksgiving Day as compared to other days throughout the year.  In fact, the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) indicated that there were over 1,370 fires on Thanksgiving Day, 2010.  Many of these fires are caused by people attempting to deep fry turkeys, and the result is over $15 million in property damage along with serious burns and life threatening injuries.

Why are there so many Thanksgiving Day fires?

  • Hectic Holidays

Individuals preparing holiday dinners may get distracted while entertaining family and friends, potentially leaving food on the stove without proper supervision.  Over 2/3 of these home cooking fires are started when food or cooking materials are accidentally set ablaze.[1]

  • Turkey Fryers

The NFPA states that fryers “are not suitable for safe use by even a well-informed and careful consumer.” According to the NFPA, “these turkey fryers use a substantial quantity of cooking oil at high temperatures and units currently available for home use pose a significant danger that hot oil will be released at some point during the cooking process. In addition, the burners that heat the oil can ignite spilled oil. The use of turkey fryers by consumers can lead to devastating burns, other injuries, and the destruction of property.”[2]  If you would like to have a fried turkey for your holiday, the NFPA strongly recommends finding grocery stores or restaurants that professionally prepare fried turkeys.

  • Tackling the Fire Solo

55% of home cooking fire injuries occur when individuals try to fight a fire without           professional help. [3]  Don’t take firefighting into your own hands.  Call 911 and explain the situation.  The fire department will quickly dispatch a team of trained professionals to fight the fire with proper equipment.

 So, what can you do to reduce the risk of a fire occurring in your home?

  • Do not leave your stovetop unattended. Always keep a close watch when frying, grilling or broiling food.
  • When cooking a turkey in the oven, use a timer, check on the turkey frequently, and do not leave your home. Similarly, when boiling, baking, simmering, or broiling, ensure someone is at home to time and check on the food regularly.
  • Keep flammable items such as oven mitts and wooden spoons away from the stovetop.
  • Keep children at least 3-4 feet away from the heating elements in the kitchen. Ensure that children are away from any hot food, sauces, or liquids.
  • Maintain knives, matches, lighters and electric cords out of reach of children. In addition, keep small appliances such as coffee makers and plate warmers far away from their reach.
  • Never leave children near a lit candle.
  • Test your smoke alarms regularly. Change the batteries annually.
  • If you are very tired or have consumed more than a glass or two of alcoholic beverages, don’t cook. It’s not worth the risk.
Content partially adapted from the National Fire Protection Association(NFPA)

If a fire does start, quickly leave the home, closing any doors behind you.  Immediately call 911 from a safe location.  If possible, turn off the oven and stovetop and put a lid on any pans to smother potential grease fires.

Furthermore, don’t allow your home to become a statistic.  Follow the aforementioned tips so that you and your loved ones can enjoy a fun, delicious, and safe holiday.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Have you been injured while someone else was cooking or frying a turkey?  Were you injured while cooking it yourself and feel there may be a defect in the fryer or oven that caused your injury?

Goldman and Daszkal, P.A., may be able to help.  Contact us at (954) 428-9333 or

Goldman & Daszkal, P.A.

Since 1990, Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. has provided reputable legal representation to people throughout Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade Counties.  The firm has helped thousands of individuals recover compensation from motor vehicle and boating accidents, slip and fall accidents, product defect and liability cases, pharmacy errors, and negligent security cases to cover medical expenses, pay bills, take care of their families, and return to work.  Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. can help you get the relief you need to start living your life again after a serious injury.  For a free and confidential consultation, contact Goldman & Daszkal, P.A., at (954) 428-9333.

[1] U.S. Fire Administration, FEMA.
[2] National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
[3] U.S. Fire Administration, FEMA.