Residents three times more likely to have a cooking fire on Thanksgiving than any other day all year

NOW: Residents three times more likely to have a cooking fire on Thanksgiving than any other day all year


SOUTH BEND, Ind. --- Did you know you are three times more likely to start a cooking fire on Thanksgiving than any other day during the year? 

This startling stat serves as a reminder to all residents, to use extreme caution while cooking, as the holiday season continues. 

"That's one of the big problems is inattentive cooks, with walking away and forgetting they have something on the stove," said Captain at the University of Notre Dame Fire Department Cary Dygert. 

The South Bend Fire Department, in a press release, mentioned how cooking fires account for nearly half of all fires reported in a year. Most of these calls come on Thanksgiving, with the main cause being unattended cooks and panic. 

“The biggest thing we do see is the stovetop fires when somebody, they have a grease fire on top of the stove, the sink is right there they grab a cup of water and think that will put it out. All that does it causes a violent explosion of the mixture of oil & water, throwing the fire into a large fireball,” said Dygert. 

On average, over 70% of residential homes cook from home during Thanksgiving, and with Christmas approaching, fire officials want residents aware of what to do if a fire sparks. 

“The best thing to do on that is to cover it, to smother that fire. Don’t throw water on a grease fire on a stovetop, and of course, call 911 and get the fire department en route. Always have a fire extinguisher handy when cooking, and the biggest thing I can stress is having working fire detectors in your house,” said Dygert. 

The Captain also stressed, never leaving cooking food unattended, especially on the stove. Use multiple timers to keep track of the time, and always call 911, even if you feel you have the situation under control. 

"Call 911, and have the fire department en route to come check it out. Whether you think it's out or not, that's what we're here for so please call 911. Get us en route, and we can check it out for ya," said Dygert. 

As we move through the holiday season, fire officials do expect more calls relating to house fires. They mentioned though, that if residents are using caution and safety as a priority, they have nothing to worry about.


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