For Immediate Release
November 26, 2019
STATE OFFICE OF FIRE PREVENTION AND CONTROL URGES NEW YORKERS TO PRACTICE SAFE BEHAVIORS WHEN COOKING
Thanksgiving and Christmas Are Peak Days for Home Cooking Fires
Office of Fire Prevention and Control Urges Safe Use of Turkey Fryers As They Can Lead to Devastating Burns, Other Injuries, and Property Destruction
The New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services’ Office of Fire Prevention and Control today urged New Yorkers to stay alert and focused while cooking this season as more home cooking fires occur during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays than at any other time of the year. In fact, the National Fire Protection Association’s latest ‘Home Cooking Fires’ report says that 1,600 home cooking fires occurred on Thanksgiving Day in 2017 and 690 fires occurred the day before Thanksgiving.
“Cooking for family and friends is an important part of any holiday, unfortunately however it does pose a number of risks which could cause harm to those celebrating,” said New York Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner Patrick Murphy. “With Thanksgiving being the one day which sees the most cooking fires and casualties, it is critical New Yorkers always remember to stay attentive and never leave stoves, ovens and fryers unattended.”
“Reported cooking fires remain historically high, especially during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays,” said State Fire Administrator Francis Nerney. “An average of 470 cooking fires are reported each day in the U.S. It’s vital that New Yorkers stay alert and focused when cooking, remain in the kitchen until all cooking is finished, and have a fire extinguisher nearby. If you do plan to use a turkey fryer, use it outdoors and never on a wooden deck or in a garage.”
Thanksgiving is the one day, which leads all others, in the most cooking related fires seen in the United States, causing an average of 173,000 reported home structure fires annually. These fires have also resulted in an average of 550 deaths, 5,020 home fire injuries and $1.2 billion in property damage. Unattended cooking is the leading cause of cooking fires and casualties.
Here are recommendations for cooking safely:
Frying turkeys at Thanksgiving has become increasingly popular in recent years. However, the Office of Fire Prevention and Control discourages the use of turkey fryers since the hot oil can lead to devastating burns and other injuries, and destruction of property. Additionally, not knowing the proper techniques for frying, such as ensuring a frozen turkey is never dropped in hot oil, only compound these threats. For those who prefer fried turkey, officials suggest individuals purchase deep fried turkeys from grocery stores, specialty food retailers or restaurants.
Those who choose to fry a turkey, instead of purchasing one, should remember:
For more cooking fire safety tips, visit the State Office of Fire Prevention and Control website.
About the Office of Fire Prevention and Control:
The Office of Fire Prevention and Control delivers a wide breadth of services to firefighters, emergency responders, state and local government agencies, public and private colleges, and the citizens of New York. The office advances public safety through firefighter training, education, fire prevention, investigative, special operations and technical rescue programs. The delivery of these essential services enables the office to make significant contributions to the safety of all of New York State.
About the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services:
The Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services provides leadership, coordination and support for efforts to prevent, protect against, prepare for, respond to, and recover from terrorism and other man-made and natural disasters, threats, fires and other emergencies. For more information, visit the DHSES Facebook page, follow @NYSDHSES on Twitter and Instagram, or visit dhses.ny.gov.