Tips on Staying Safe While Wrestling with Turkeys this Thanksgiving

Tips on Staying Safe While Wrestling with Turkeys this Thanksgiving

Did you know that more home-cooking fires occur on Thanksgiving than any other day?  That makes today a great one to brush up on fire safety and prevention in the household. American Red Cross Northern California Coastal Region urges everyone never to leave cooking food unattended — the most common cause of kitchen fires.

Thanksgiving Cooking Tips

  • Keep an eye on what you fry. Stay in the kitchen and never leave cooking food unattended. If you must leave the kitchen, even for a short period of time, turn off the stove.
  • Clean and clear the area around the stove before turning on the heat.
  • Move items that can burn away from the stove. These include towels, bags, boxes, paper, packaging and curtains.
  • Avoid wearing loose clothing or dangling sleeves while cooking.
  • Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the stove.
  • Turn pot handles to the back of the stove, so no one mistakenly bumps them or pulls them over.
  • Fires can start when the heat is too high. When frying food, turn the burner off if the food begins to smoke or if the grease starts to boil. Carefully remove the pan from the burner.
  • Keep a pan lid or a cookie sheet nearby. Use it to cover the pan if it catches on fire. This will put out the fire. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.
  • Use a timer to remind yourself that the stove or oven is on.
  • Check the kitchen before going to bed or leaving home to ensure all stoves, ovens and small appliances are turned off.

Another smart move
The Red Cross also advises people test their smoke alarms and practice 2 fire escape plans until everyone in the household can get out in two minutes or less. Visit for more information and free resources, or download the free Red Cross Emergency App (search “American Red Cross” in app stores).

Home fires are the nation’s most frequent disaster, representing most of the more than 62,000 disasters that the Red Cross responds to each year in the U.S. In Northern California Coastal Region, local Red Cross volunteers responded to 840 home fires, assisting 1,600 local families in the past 12 months.

Through its Home Fire Campaign, The Red Cross has also saved at least 642 lives nationwide by working with partners to install free smoke alarms in at-risk areas and educate families about home fire safety. 

The Bay Area Chapter, which serves Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo and Solano counties, reported making 4,843 households safer by installing 14,692 free smoke alarms and providing education to 9,081 children.

For more information, visit