ROSEMEAD, Calif., Nov. 18, 2015 — Turkey fryer fires and their blazing imagery get plenty of attention when it comes to Thanksgiving safety. And they should. Unattended cooking, however, remains the biggest problem on a day with three times as many home fires as any other day of the year.
For instance, U.S. fire departments answered 445 home-cooking fires daily from 2009-2013, according to the National Fire Protection Association, but that number reached 1,550 on Thanksgiving Day in 2013. More than 60 percent of the fires started on stovetops and about one-third resulted from unattended cooking.
In an effort to combat these hazards, Southern California Edison urges its customers to make safety a priority in their preparations this Thanksgiving. It is essential in reducing the spike in Thanksgiving Day fires that cause an average of 10 fatalities, 50 injuries and $28 million in property damage.
“People can get distracted while preparing multiple dishes and entertaining at Thanksgiving,” said Don Neal, SCE director of Corporate Health and Safety. “But cooking, especially on the stovetop, should never be left unattended. This and other basic safety precautions can help keep your Thanksgiving fire and injury-free.”
And deep fryers? They cause about 700 fires yearly compared to the 99,000 that start on stovetops and Underwriters Laboratories (UL), the top independent product safety company, still won’t certify the fryers.
SCE recommends some other safety tips for Thanksgiving:
- Ensure that all appliances bear the UL label and replace appliances with frayed or worn cords.
- Plug countertop appliances into Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI)-protected outlets.
- Locate all appliances away from the sink. Remember, water and electricity do not mix.
- Do not overload outlets with multiple adaptors or power strips.
- Do not use extension cords with major appliances.
- Never fight an electrical or grease fire with water. Keep a fire extinguisher, UL listed and rated for electrical and grease fires, nearby.
- Unplug appliances that aren’t in use, preventing them from being turned on accidentally.
- Keep appliance cords out of reach of children and keep the floor clear of other cords to prevent falls.
About Southern California Edison
An Edison International (NYSE:EIX) company, Southern California Edison is one of the nation’s largest electric utilities, serving a population of nearly 14 million via 5 million customer accounts in a 50,000-square-mile service area within Central, Coastal and Southern California.