Home fire risk more than doubles on Thanksgiving Day
Thanksgiving Day fires from 2011-2013 caused an estimated $28 million in property loss. (Photo: iStock)
Make sure you have a fire extinguisher in your kitchen when preparing this year’s Thanksgiving feast because it’s better to be safe than sorry. An estimated 2,100 residential building fires were reported to fire departments in the United States on Thanksgiving Day for each year from 2011 to 2013, and caused an estimated 10 deaths, 50 injuries and $28 million in property loss, according to the U.S. Fire Administration and data from theNational Fire Incident Reporting System.
Here’s a look at the home fire patterns on Thanksgiving, as well as a few safety tips to prevent your home from going up in flames this Thanksgiving holiday:
Be sure to keep anything that can catch fire — pot holders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, and towels or curtains — away from the stove, oven or any other appliance in the kitchen that generate heat. (Photo: iStock)
Fire risk doubles on Thanksgiving
The average number of reported residential building fires on Thanksgiving Day is more than double (2.1 times more) the average number of fires in homes on all days other than Thanksgiving.
Something to be thankful for: Residential Thanksgiving fires result in a lower average financial loss than fires on other days. (Photo: iStock)
Losses, injuries, fatalities
The good news: The average financial losses for Thanksgiving Day fires in residential buildings is less than for non-Thanksgiving Day fires.
The three-year average dollar loss for residential fires on Thanksgiving Day was $11,360 vs. $15,790 for non-Thanksgiving Day fires in residential buildings, according to the 2011-2013 National Fire Incident Reporting System data. In addition, home fire injuries and fatalities are lower on Thanksgiving Day than on other days of the year:
16.9 injuries on Thanksgiving vs. 28.4 injuries on non-Thanksgiving days.
3.4 fatalities on Thanksgiving vs. 5.2 fatalities on non-Thanksgiving days.
Cooking is the leading cause of all Thanksgiving Day fires in homes. (Photo: iStock)
Causes of fires
Cooking fires in residential buildings occur more often on Thanksgiving Day than any other day of the year. Cooking was, by far, the leading cause of all Thanksgiving Day fires in residential buildings at 72 percent, from 2011-2013. By comparison, cooking was the cause of 48 percent of residential building fires that occurred on all days of the year other than Thanksgiving. Heating, at 9 percent, was the next leading cause of Thanksgiving Day fires in residential buildings.
Thanksgiving Day fires in residential buildings occur most frequently from noon to 3 p.m., when many people most likely were preparing Thanksgiving dinner. Fires then decline throughout the evening. This stands in contrast to the rest of the year, when residential building fires peak during “normal” dinnertime hours of 5 to 8 p.m.
The majority of Thanksgiving fires take place in single-family homes. (Photo: iStock)
The majority of Thanksgiving Day fires in residential buildings take place in one- and two-family dwellings (65 percent) followed by multifamily dwellings (29 percent). Other dwellings account for the other 5.6 percent of Thanksgiving Day fires.
Most Thanksgiving fires are limited to the object or room of origin. (Photo: iStock)
Extent of fire spread
In 74 percent of Thanksgiving Day fires in homes from 2011-2013, the fire was limited to the object of origin. An additional 12 percent of these fires were limited to the room of origin. The remaining 15 percent of Thanksgiving Day fires in homes extended beyond the room of origin. Annually, among all residential building fires, 56 percent are limited to the object of origin, an additional 20 percent are limited to the room of origin, and the remaining 25 percent extend beyond the room of origin.
Never attempt to carry a hot or burning pan to the sink. (Photo: iStock)
Stay in the kitchen when you’re cooking on the stove top so you can keep an eye on the food.
Stay in the home when cooking your turkey and check on it frequently.
Long sleeves and loose clothing should be avoided while cooking as they can easily catch fire.
Keep anything that can catch fire — pot holders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, and towels or curtains — away from the stove, oven or any other appliance in the kitchen that generate heat.
Clean surfaces on a regular basis to prevent grease buildup.
Keep children and pets away from the stove. The stove will be hot and kids should stay 3 feet away.
Make sure kids stay away from hot food and liquids. The steam or splash from coffee, gravy or vegetables could cause serious burns.
Keep the floor clear so you don’t trip over kids, toys, purses or bags.
Keep knives out of the reach of children.
Be sure electric cords from an electric knife, coffee maker, plate warmer or mixer are not dangling off the counter within easy reach of a child.
Keep matches and utility lighters out of the reach of children.
Never leave children alone in a room with a lit candle.
Make sure your smoke alarms are working. Test them by pushing the test button.
Keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen and know where it is located.
Always check the kitchen before going to bed or leaving the home to make sure all stoves, ovens and small appliances are turned off.
Turkey fryers should always be used outdoors a safe distance from buildings and any other flammable materials.
Never use turkey fryers in a garage or on a wooden deck.
Make sure turkey fryers are used on a flat surface to reduce accidental tipping.
To avoid oil spillover, don’t overfill the fryer.
Make sure the turkey is completely thawed and be careful with marinades. Oil and water do not mix, and water causes oil to spill over causing a fire or even an explosion hazard.
In the event of a kitchen fire:
Stove top: Cautiously slide a cookie sheet or a lid over the pan and turn off the stove. Never attempt to carry a hot pan to the sink.
Oven: Close the oven door and turn off heat. Once the oxygen has been depleted the fire will go out. Wait until the oven has cooled before opening the door again. This applies to microwave ovens as well.
Never use water to extinguish a grease fire. If the fire is manageable, use your all-purpose fire extinguisher.
Evacuate and call 911: If you are not able to extinguish the fire, activate the fire alarm for the building. If your home is not equipped with a monitored fire alarm, evacuate everyone and call 911 from your cell phone or a neighbor’s phone.
Do you have an emergency right now?
Call our FREE recorded help line, 866.744.0973, for tips on what to do in an emergency. Or click below for online tips!
Melisa did such a great job and was so professional and nice. It really helped with the issues I was dealing with. Thanks Again!
- Janell, Waconia
Thank you for everything. You have been more than accommodating to me throughout this nightmare. I couldn’t be more pleased with the final outcome.
- Laura, Woodville, WI
I just can’t thank you enough for making our “water damage ordeal” go away so quickly. Your ability to organize subcontractors and the ICC crews is truly amazing, Mom and I are delighted to be back and settled into our little casa. Your genuine warmth and caring are truly gifts that you bring to your work. You are so appreciated!
- Jane, Stillwater
Thank you for sending Jake to my home. He was the most respectful young man I have ever met. He left my home very clean and he was very knowledgeable.
- Carolyn, White Bear Lake
The project manager did a great job communicating. He was so nice and did a great job checking in with us. Working with ICC was the best part of the flood. The crews really went out of their way to make sure we were well taken care of. The job could not have gone better.
- Nick & Abbie, Chanhassen
I don’t think your company performed work at Derek’s home as there was minimal damage, he called me today and thanked me profusely for referring ICC to him. He was very impressed with the rep that came to his house and the honesty and helpful advice he gave him about clean up and that it may not be in his best interest to file a claim. He is the type of customer that appreciates good service and will remember it and refer others. Thanks again for ICC’s help.
- Kimberley (Insurance Agent)
Thank you for such AMAZING service!
- Barbara (Insurance Agent), Rochester
ICC turned a really bad experience into a good one. We are very happy with all of the work that was done. They did a great job explaining the claims process.
- Linda, Oakdale
The crews were very professional and communicated well. They were great also about cleaning up after themselves. We would use ICC again. The crews were always on top of the process, which allowed the repairs to go smoothly.
- Church Representative, Edina
Erick did an excellent job explaining the process. We thought that everyone was very professional. They explained everything very well and followed through with everything. Communication could not have been better. I am very happy with my services.
- Gary, Osceola, WI
Our project manager was great to work with; he explained things well and answered all of our questions. Our coordinator also did a good job. Working with ICC was easy. Communication was wonderful and the crews were very professional. We would use ICC again in a heartbeat.
- Angie & Fran, Hudson, WI
The lead technician was great and explained things over the phone very well. I was very impressed. The crews were better than expected and very professional. ICC was extremely responsive; I was out of state and was so impressed with how they kept me informed.
- Jim & Cheryl, Victoria
I was very happy with all the crews at ICC. I had great experience and would not hesitate to work with ICC again should the need arise. Everyone there really knows what they are doing.
- Jerry, Cottage Grove
Dealing with the fire was a very upsetting time. ICC was able to get out to my home quickly and really helped reassure me that everything would be fine. ICC worked very well with my insurance company. I could not have been happier with the whole process. I know I asked a ton of questions and Mark was great about answering them all.
- Karen, St. Croix Falls, WI
The crews were always on time for their appointments. Our job went very well. I am so thankful for everyone at ICC and the excellent work they did.
- Michelle, Shoreview
Everyone I dealt with was just great. My project could not have gone better. Everyone at ICC is professional and is excellent at communicating. I would use ICC again and will be recommending them.
- Connie, Edina
The technicians did a fantastic job. Everyone really cared about me and my concerns. They were extremely knowledgeable, compassionate, and knew how to make me feel comfortable. ICC was amazing to work with.
- Kevin, Maple Grove
ICC was terrific to work with and I will be recommending them. I had an excellent experience.
- Patricia, Hudson, WI
The technicians were extremely detailed. I immediately felt like I was in great hands. They were also very calming, always on time and communicated well.
- Sally, Excelsior
The technicians were very good at explaining what was going to take place. They answered all of my questions in great detail. Everyone was very sympathetic to my situation and genuinely cared.
- Anita, St. Anthony
Our project manager payed great attention to detail and had excellent customer service. He was very compassionate and really cared about what we were going through. ICC was wonderful to work with. The crews were very professional and thorough.
- Brian & Jill, Woodbury
I was very pleased with the whole process. Everything went so much smoother than I expected. ICC really helped make it easy.
- Jackie, Woodbury
The crews were very professional and communicated very well. They responded very quickly to our phone calls and always made sure we knew what was going on.
- Robert, Maplewood
Thank you for the wonderful inspection findings and THANK YOU for your professionalism. So much appreciated.
- Carol, Burnsville
My project manager did a great job and was really nice to work with. My coordinator did a great job keeping me informed about the process as well. ICC was wonderful to work with; they were all very professional and treated my home well. The quality of the work done was impressive and I would definitely use them again.
- Paul, Maplewood
I was impressed by the short time it took for the clean up crew to make arrangements to meet me even though we were outside of the metro area.
- Karen, Osceola, WI
As the coordinator of facilities and grounds for the State’s fourth largest school district I am involved is a lot of activities and unfortunately some are emergencies in nature. This includes fire, floods, sewer backups and natural disasters. Thankfully this does not happen often but when it does I rely on a restoration company’s specialists who have the knowledge and equipment to quickly clean and restore the affected area of the building or grounds…
In Minnesota, ICC provides restoration and remediation services to Minneapolis MN, St Paul MN, Andover MN, Anoka MN, Stillwater MN, Eden Prairie MN, Apple Valley MN, Lakeville MN, St Cloud MN, Brooklyn Park MN, Bloomington MN, Burnsville MN, Eagan MN, Minnetonka MN, Woodbury MN, Oakdale MN, White Bear Lake MN, Inver Grove Heights MN, Coon Rapids MN, Plymouth MN, Chanhassen MN, North Branch MN, Cambridge MN, Blaine MN, Lino Lakes MN, Ham Lake MN, Ramsey MN, Golden Valley MN, Shakopee MN, Prior Lake MN, Farmington MN, Rosemount MN, Chaska MN, Mound MN, Watertown MN, Norwood MN, MN Young America MN, Belle Plaine MN, New Prague MN, East Bethel MN, Oak Grove MN, St Francis MN, Zimmerman MN and surrounding communities. In Wisconsin, we serve New Richmond WI, River Falls WI, Osceola WI, Roberts WI and surrounding communities.