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Thanksgiving Fire Safety
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By Editor
November 7, 2018

As you gather to celebrate Thanksgiving with your friends and family, DHS, FEMA and the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) want to help keep you and your loved ones safe from fire hazards.That's why USFA has teamed up with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) to 'Put a Freeze on Winter Fires'. They have compiled helpful videos, fact sheets, podcasts and more to keep you and your family safe this Thanksgiving. As families gather in kitchens across the country to cook Thanksgiving dinner, many are stepping into what can be one of the most hazardous rooms in the house if you don't practice safe cooking habits.

According to data from the USFA, an estimated 2,000 Thanksgiving Day fires in residential buildings occur annually in the United States, resulting in an estimated average of five deaths, 25 injuries, and $21 million in property loss each year. The leading cause of all Thanksgiving Day fires in residential buildings is cooking. In addition, these fires occur most frequently in the afternoon hours from noon to 4 p.m. And unfortunately, smoke alarms were not present in 20 percent of Thanksgiving Day fires that occurred in occupied residential buildings.

USFA's 'Put a Freeze on Winter Fires' provides tons of safety tips for you and your family this Thanksgiving. Some of their safe cooking tips are:
1. Make sure you have smoke alarms on every level of your home, outside each sleeping area, and in every bedroom.
2. Test smoke alarms monthly and replace them if they are 10 years old or older.
3. Keep a close watch on your cooking. You should never leave cooking food unattended.
4. Keep oven food packaging and other combustibles away from burners and heat sources.
5. Heat cooking oil slowly and watch it closely; it can ignite quickly.
6. Don't wear loose sleeves while working over hot stove burners - they can melt, ignite or catch on handles spilling hot oil and other liquids.
7. Have a "kid-free zone" of at least three-feet around the stove and areas where hot foods or drinks are prepared or carried.
8. Keep a lid nearby to smother small grease fires. Smother the fire by sliding the lid over the pan and turn off the stovetop.

USFA recognizes that Thanksgiving is a time of food, fun, and fellowship with loved ones. And as you sit down with family and friends this Thanksgiving, DHS, FEMA and USFA want you to be safe. So please visit USFA's 'Put a Freeze on Winter Fires' to learn what you can do to protect your loved ones during the holidays.

Thanks, and from all of us at DHS, have a happy and safe Thanksgiving.
Published by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Washington, D.C.

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