Thanksgiving kindles kitchen fires

You’re enjoying the company of family and friends, when suddenly you smell something burning. Smoke fills the house, and everyone begins to flee. Within seconds, your peaceful Thanksgiving has turned into a near-death experience.

On Thanksgiving Day, it is easy to forget how long to cook food, given the multitude of distractions–not to mention the pressure–that plague the host. Ten minutes too long in the oven could result in a charred casserole and a visit from the fire department.

“One Thanksgiving, we were at my uncle’s house, and there was some kind of issue with the oven, I think because of all the food we were cooking. Suddenly, there was a fire in the kitchen and a ton of smoke,” junior Megan Kirsh said. “Luckily, we were able to put the fire out with a fire extinguisher. Nothing too traumatic happened, but the food was burnt. It definitely set our planned dinner back a lot.”

Some may find it difficult to understand how a kitchen fire could so easily occur, but others find the reasons quite clear.

“I could see how it would be easy for a kitchen fire to occur on Thanksgiving. I mean, it is the holidays and given all the fun events and the hassle of cooking, it could definitely happen,” junior Maria Rojas said. “Also, having so many people in one house could definitely be a fire hazard.”

Although kitchen fires may seem unpredictable, there are simple ways to prevent them and keep everyone safe.

“A way to avoid a fire could be to pay really close attention to what you’re cooking and how long you leave it in for; keeping a timer close could help. If  you’re the one cooking, try to focus on that and then spend time with family after the meal is done,” Rojas said. “Thanksgiving should be a fun day to celebrate giving thanks, but it does not mean that it is more important than safety. It’s important to be careful when cooking a Thanksgiving meal because you don’t want your Thanksgiving to be ruined because of a mistake that can be easily avoided.”