WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Home cooking fires peak at Thanksgiving. And fire prevention experts are urging homeowners to be vigilant as we approach the holiday next week.

“Thanksgiving day, we specifically see an uptick in some kitchen related emergencies. People not being close to the pans or smoke in the oven,” says Lt. Tony Spear of the West Springfield Fire Department. And those are just some of the ways a fire could start in your home on Thanksgiving.

The holiday is the leading day for home cooking fires with more than three times the daily average. According to state data between 2017 and 2021 there were nearly 700 Thanksgiving fires here in Massachusetts and about 90% of them were caused by cooking at home.

Local fire departments told 22News if you are organizing a large family feast to practice fire safety. Some preventative tips include:

  • Staying home and in the kitchen to keep an eye on what’s cooking
  • Setting a timer to help you monitor foods with longer cooking times
  • Keeping your cooking area clear of anything that can burn
    • Items should be at least three feet away from cooking equipment
  • Always cook with a lid beside your pan to smother any flames

Lt. Spear explains, “… So with a grease fire you want to make sure you are smothering the fire with the cover of a pan, something like that, just to take the oxygen away from the fire.”

And before the holiday is here, make sure you have a fire extinguisher in your home and check that your smoke alarms are working properly.

Local News

Kristina D’Amours is a reporter who is a part of the evening 22News team. Follow Kristina on X @KristinaD_WWLP and view her bio to see more of her work.