ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — As the holiday season approaches, the Firemen’s Association of the State of New York (FASNY) is emphasizing cooking safety in the kitchen. FASNY said Thanksgiving is a peak day for home cooking fires.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, Thanksgiving chefs experienced 1,630 home cooking fires in 2018, the most of any day throughout the year. New York is currently fifth in the United States in home fire deaths, with 85 recorded this year.

“Fire departments across the state have responded to an increased number of home kitchen fires since the beginning of the COVID pandemic,“ said FASNY President John P. Farrell. “With many people staying home, increased meal preparations and added distractions can lead to fires. We urge all New Yorkers to follow some simple safety tips to avoid a holiday accident.” 

Home cooking safety tips from FASNY:

  • Remain in the kitchen while cooking
  • Most cooking fires involve the stovetop, so keep anything that can catch fire away from it, and turn off the stove when you leave the kitchen
  • If you’re simmering, boiling, baking or roasting food, check it regularly and use a timer to remind yourself that you’re cooking
  • For homes with children, have the kids remain outside the kitchen area while food is being prepared. Pets should also be kept out of the kitchen while cooking
  • Make sure your smoke detectors are functioning by pressing the “test” button
  • Deep-frying turkeys is extremely dangerous, especially when done without care. If a turkey fryer must be used, follow these suggestions:
    • Use your turkey fryer only outdoors on a sturdy, level surface, away from things that can burn.
    • Make sure to keep children and pets away from the turkey fryer
    • Determine the correct amount of oil needed by first placing the turkey in the pot with water.
    • Make sure your turkey is completely thawed before you fry it
    • Check the temperature often with a cooking thermometer so the oil won’t overheat.
    • Use long cooking gloves that protect hands and arms when handling the pot, lid, and handles of a turkey fryer