According to the National Fire Protection Association, Thanksgiving is the leading day of the year for home fires involving cooking equipment, with Christmas Day and Christmas Eve following close behind. Between 2017 and 2021, fire agencies in Washington state reported more than 9,850 fires related to cooking, resulting in 13 fire fatalities and $44 million in dollar loss.
The Washington State Fire Marshal’s Office offers the following cooking safety guidelines, whether it’s for the holidays or any other time you are cooking:
- Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking to keep an eye on any food on the stovetop. Unattended cooking is by far the leading contributing factor in cooking fires and fire deaths.
- Keep children at least 3 feet away from the stove and never hold a child while cooking.
- Be sure electric cords are not dangling off the counter within easy reach of a child or pets.
- Keep clothing sleeves and loose fitting clothing away from burners.
- Keep the floor clear so you or others don’t trip over toys, purses or bags.
- Keep knives out of the reach of children.
- Make sure children stay away from hot food and liquids. The steam or splash from vegetables, gravy or coffee could cause serious burns.
- Make sure your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are working. Remember to test them by pushing the test button.
For more information, contact the State Fire Marshal’s Office at 360-596-3929.