November 21, 2018 ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Thanksgiving is a day that is meant to commemorate all the things that we’re thankful for in life. Sadly, the holiday also marks the peak day of the year for fires that cooking is the leading contributing factor. In Alaska last year, there were 183 fires in homes that were cooking-related. Residential property damage that year due to those fires surpassed $1.5 million dollars.
“Whether it be fires that are cooking-related, improper heating, electrical, it doesn’t matter—the suffering caused by fires is almost always preventable,” said Alaska State Fire Marshal David Tyler, Director for the Division of Fire and Life Safety. “This Thanksgiving, we ask Alaskans to not become complacent when preparing their holiday meal. Your life and the lives of your family and friends are too important to risk. Help us avoid a tragedy by not leaving your cooking unattended.”
In 2017, 183 residential fires were determined to be directly caused or contributed to by cooking. Five Alaskans were killed and nine were injured in those fires. Nationally, cooking equipment was involved in almost half of all reported home fire injuries. Cooking fires were also the second leading cause of home fire deaths.
The three other days of the year that someone is more likely to have a cooking-related fire in their home are Christmas Day, Christmas Eve, and the day before Thanksgiving.