Fred A. Mitchell Jr., Fire Chief
47 Central Street
Georgetown, MA 01833
For Immediate Release
Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017
Contact: John Guilfoil
Georgetown Fire Department Provides Holiday Cooking Safety Tips
GEORGETOWN – As residents prepare to gather with family and friends for Thanksgiving next week, Chief Fred A. Mitchell Jr. and the Georgetown Fire Department urge residents to be vigilant when preparing meals.
“We want to see all of our residents enjoy their Thanksgiving holiday safely this year,” Chief Mitchell said. “Make sure that you never leave anything that’s cooking on the stove unattended and test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to ensure they’re working properly.”
According to the National Fire Protection Association, Thanksgiving Day is the leading day for U.S. home cooking fires. Between 2011 and 2015, U.S. fire departments responded to an annual average of 170,200 home structure fires involving cooking equipment, which resulted in 510 civilian fire deaths, 5,470 civilian fire injuries, and $1.2 billion in direct property damage. Unattended cooking was, by far, the leading contributing factor in these fires and fire fatalities.
To avoid tragedy this season, Chief Mitchell recommends residents follow several safety tips outlined by the Massachusetts Department of Fire Services:
- Stay in the kitchen when boiling, frying, or broiling food.
- Use a timer when baking or roasting and never leave the house while the oven is on.
- Move anything that can catch fire — pot holders, towels, paper or plastic bags — away from your stove top.
- In the event that a fire occurs on a stove top, put a lid on the burner and turn off the heat. Keep doors closed and the appliance off if a fire happens in an oven, broiler or microwave. Never throw water or use a fire extinguisher on a grease fire. Water will only spread the fire and the force of the extinguisher can splash flaming grease out of the pan.
- If your clothing catches fire, STOP, DROP and ROLL to put out the flames. Run cool water on burns or call 911 if the injury is serious.
- If the fire is not quickly snuffed out, leave the house and call the fire department.
- Keep children 3 feet away from the stove to prevent burns.
- Make sure all smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are working prior to the holiday.
Additionally, the NFPA discourages the use of turkey fryers, as the amount and high temperature of the oil used can cause serious burns and injuries, and result in the destruction of property.
Residents who would like more information on holiday cooking safety should contact the Georgetown Fire Department at 978-352-5757.