Prepare your home for a safe holiday

This Thanksgiving dinner is from New Hampshire, so it's stuffing on the plate. In Mississippi,...
This Thanksgiving dinner is from New Hampshire, so it's stuffing on the plate. In Mississippi, it would probably be dressing. (Source: AP/Matthew Mead)
Published: Nov. 23, 2022 at 8:50 PM MST
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KJCT) - Thanksgiving is on Thursday, and the Grand Junction Fire Department is urging you to prepare for a safe holiday. That’s because Thanksgiving is the country’s worst day for home cooking fires.

Crews say distractions can be our biggest enemy when in the kitchen. Here’s how you can prepare meals without setting off the fire alarm.

“So Thanksgiving is the number one day for home cooking fires because everyone is making Thanksgiving,” said Ellis Thompson-Ellis, communications and outreach specialist at GJFD.

The fire department reports more than three times as many cooking fires on Thanksgiving compared with a typical day. So it’s urging the community to take action to make this a safe holiday.

“So Thanksgiving is a really special time for our families and us, but it’s also a time that we can be really distracted by everything that’s going on,” said Thompson. “So whether it’s cooking in your home and making sure you’re by the stove or driving and not paying attention to the phone or the kids in the back, we need to focus on those things that are inherently dangerous to avoid the emergency in the first place.”

Here are a few things you can do to avoid an emergency. “Never use a fire extinguisher or water on a cooking fire; it actually could make it worse,” said Thompson. “If it’s on top of the stove, you want to have a lid nearby to be able to just put that on top, and the fire will go out. Let the pan cool and if it’s in the oven, make sure you keep that door closed, turn the oven off, and it will go out on its own.”

Thompson urges you to remove towels, wooden spoons, and food wrappers from the stovetop and keep kids and pets at least three feet away.

“If you’re baking a turkey or something in the oven, you do need to be in the kitchen and paying attention to it regularly,” said Thompson. “I think one of the major hazards this holiday is that we get distracted. So I set a timer on my phone just to bring me back and focus, not just a timer for when the food is done.”

Just a few things to keep in mind that will prevent flames from ruining your Thanksgiving dinner.

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