According to the U.S. Fire Administration, cooking is the leading cause of all residential fires and injuries throughout the country.
Each year, fires cause an average of 4,820 reported injuries, 550 deaths, and more than $1 billion in direct property.
By far, Thanksgiving is the highest day for home cooking fires, with U.S. fire departments responding to an estimated 1,600 of them on that day each year, , according to the National Fire Protection Association.
With the holiday on the horizon, our Florida insurance claims attorneys at The Morgan Law Group have a few tips for hosts to avoid these dangerous circumstances, so they can entertain without incident.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Fires on Thanksgiving Day in Florida?
On Thanksgiving day each year, over three times as many home cooking fires occur than any other day throughout the year.
As families and friends gather in Florida and throughout the U.S., people are preparing multiple dishes, often with lots of guests and other distractions in and around the kitchen, which can lead to the number one cause of residential cooking fires on Thanksgiving: Unattended cooking.
When hosts are entertaining guests as they arrive and throughout the evening, they often walk away from the kitchen, leaving the oven and stove unattended, leading to fires that start without notice.
Other frequent causes of cooking fires include:
- Faulty cooking equipment
- Flammable items left on and around the stove
- Clutter in the kitchen
- Loose clothing
When people try to control a cooking fire themselves, 53% of all non-fatal fire injuries occur, which is why it is important to evacuate the home any time a fire occurs. Close the door behind you and contact your local fire department from outside the home to avoid injury. Everything else can be replaced.
Fires Can Occur Outside on Thanksgiving Too
Gas-fueled turkey fryers, which should only be used outside, in an open space away from structures, can also pose a huge risk of injury and fires on Thanksgiving.
Outdoor fryers operate at very high temperatures, and are filled with volatile cooking oil, which can splash and spill causing severe fires and significant injuries.
Since 2002, there has been nearly $8 million in property damage insurance claims reported from turkey fryer fires and explosions throughout the country.
Fire Safety Tips for Thanksgiving 2020
At The The Morgan Law Group, our Florida insurance claims attorneys want everyone to enjoy Thanksgiving without incident and have a few tips on how to keep your home, condo, or business free from dangerous fires while entertaining your family and other guests this holiday season.
Our top safety tips for Thanksgiving cooking include:
- Never leave the stove unattended while cooking.
- Never leave the home when cooking a turkey.
- Use cooking timers as reminders to check on items as they cook throughout the day.
- Keep children away from the stove, as steam, splatter, and spills can cause serious injuries.
- Keep all cords clear and the kitchen clutter free, so no one trips over them or pulls a small appliance — like a crockpot or warmer — off the counter or table.
- Turn all pot handles toward the back of the stove, so they cannot be knocked off.
- Avoid overloading electrical outlets with too many kitchen appliances and ensure electrical cords are not cracked, frayed, or damaged.
- Test all smoke alarms to ensure they are working before cooking.
If you experienced fire damage on Thanksgiving or any time of year, contact our Florida insurance claims attorneys at The Morgan Law Group by calling (305) 569-9900 today to discuss your homeowner insurance claim and ensure you are pursuing the maximum amount for your recovery needs.