Holiday Cooking Safety


The kitchen is the heart of the home, especially during the holidays. Safety in the kitchen is important, especially on Thanksgiving Day when there is a lot of activity and people at home.  The National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) and Safe Kids Oregon are encouraging safety this Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving by the numbers

  • In 2013, Thanksgiving Day was the leading date for home cooking fires with 1,550, 230% above the average number of fires per day.
  • Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires, followed by Christmas Day and Christmas Eve.
  • Unattended cooking was by far the leading contributing factor in cooking fires and fire deaths.
  • Cooking equipment is the leading cause of home structure fires and associated civilian injuries and was the third leading cause of home fire deaths.


Safety Tips image003

  • Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stove top so you can keep an eye on the food.
  • Stay in the home when cooking your turkey and check on it frequently.
  • Keep children away from the stove. The stove will be hot and kids should stay 3 feet away.
  • Make sure kids stay away from hot food and liquids. The steam or splash from vegetables, gravy or coffee could cause serious burns.
  • Keep the floor clear so you don’t trip over kids, toys, pocketbooks or bags.
  • Keep knives out of the reach of children.
  • Be sure electric cords from an electric knife, coffee maker, plate warmer or mixer are not dangling off the counter within easy reach of a child.
  • Keep matches and utility lighters out of the reach of children — up high in a locked cabinet.
  • Never leave children alone in room with a lit candle.
  • Make sure your smoke alarms are working. Test them by pushing the test button.

Kids love to be involved in holiday preparations. This Kids in the Kitchen tip sheet from NFPA can help kids figure out what they are old enough to do on their own—and when it’s time to ask an adult for help.


Additional tip sheets from Safe Kids

Burn and Scald Prevention

Cooking Safety Parent Checklist
Safe Kids Oregon works to prevent unintentional childhood injury, the number one cause of death for children in the United States.  Safe Kids Oregon is a member of Safe Kids Worldwide, a global network of organizations dedicated to preventing unintentional injury.  Safe Kids Oregon was founded in 1995 and is led by Oregon Public Health.  Click here for information on other Injury Areas.