Home cooking fire risk peaks on Thanksgiving Day

Servpro says make caution the first ingredient in holiday meal prep
November 19, 2023

The holiday season is almost here, and home cooking activities are at their peak. Unfortunately, all this cooking leads to a related peak in cooking fires, said John Sooker, Servpro president and COO. Cooking fires are responsible for nearly half (49%) of all home fires, according to the National Fire Protection Association. "To help keep your holidays from literally going up in smoke, it's critical to know and use safe cooking practices," said Sooker.

According to the NFPA, Thanksgiving is the leading day of the year for home cooking fires, with more than three times the daily average for such incidents. The fire and water remediation specialists from Servpro in the Lewes area urge home cooks to take some basic safety steps recommended by the NFPA to help prevent cooking fires.

  • Keep the cooking area clean and keep anything that can burn (dish towels, oven mitts, packaging) at least three feet away from cooking equipment
  • Keep a close eye on what's cooking, setting a timer to help people monitor foods with longer cooking times
  • Keep in mind that the leading contributing factor to cooking fires and to fire deaths overall is unattended cooking, so plan to be in or near the kitchen at all times when cooking.

"For those who use a turkey fryer to cook their Thanksgiving bird, it's important to note that more than 2/3 of home cooking fires begin with the ignition of cooking materials, including food, fat and grease. The NFPA strongly discourages the use of these fryers. They use large amounts of oil at high temperatures. If you do use one, follow all placement, use and safety instructions carefully,” said Sooker.

If the unexpected does happen, Servpro franchises in the Lewes area specialize in disaster restoration, cleanup and repair services, helping to remediate damage, making it "like it never even happened" for both commercial and residential customers. For more information, go to or contact Matthew Cranmer at 302-856-9768, 302-856-2580 or

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