Make fire safety the centerpiece of Thanksgiving festivities

Through November 18, 2021 10:36 a.m.

Ohio Department of Commerce press release

COLUMBUS— A golden turkey with delicious sides may set the stage for the perfect Thanksgiving treat, but state officials urge Ohioans to make fire safety the real centerpiece of the holiday festivities by staying vigilant and being patient in the kitchen.

“More kitchen fires happen on Thanksgiving Day than any other day of the year, and it’s not hard to see why,” said State Fire Marshal Kevin S Reardon. “Between cleaning, taking care of the children and cooking several dishes at the same time, there is no shortage of distractions in and around the kitchen. Staying alert and paying attention to what you’re cooking can go a long way in ensuring that these distractions don’t have tragic consequences.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, on Thanksgiving Day alone, approximately 1,400 home kitchen fires were reported to U.S. fire departments in 2019, more than three times a day on average.

In Ohio, although smoking is still the leading known cause of fire deaths, kitchen-related home fires during the month of November increased significantly in 2020 compared to 2019, from 391 in 2019 to 434 Last year.

There were 38 reported house fires, with no fatalities, on Thanksgiving last year, up from 22 in 2019.
“Many wonderful holiday celebrations this time of year can be marred by fires that are more often than not preventable, so it’s important to stay alert and stay safe in the kitchen,” Reardon said.

“Home insurance generally covers damage caused by kitchen fires, but it’s always a good idea to review your insurance coverage with an insurance agent,” said Judith L. French, director of the home improvement department. Ohio Insurance.

There are steps you can take to stay safe:

• Do not leave any cooking zone unattended. • Set a timer to remind you of the foods you are preparing.

• Maintain a 3 foot “child-free zone” around the stove or areas where hot food or drinks are prepared.

• Keep paper towels and towels away from hot surfaces.

• Keep cooked fried turkey out of the garage, away from your house and wooden structures.

• Before frying a turkey, place it in the deep fryer and cover it with water to determine the exact amount of oil you will need to prevent a fire caused by overflow.

• Have a suitable fire extinguisher on hand.

• If the situation worsens, evacuate and dial 911.

If you need to file an insurance claim, take photos or video of the damage and contact your insurance agent or company immediately. Provide complete and accurate information when submitting a claim to avoid delays.

You can call the Ohio Department of Insurance at 1-800-686-1526 or visit if you have questions and concerns about insurance. Additional safety advice is available from the State Fire Marshal’s Office at

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