The greatest number of home cooking fires occur on Thanksgiving and the top causes are:

  • Heat source too close to flammable materials – oven mitts, towels, curtains.
  • Unattended cooking equipment – remain in the kitchen at all times while cooking.
  • Product misuse – such as turkey fryers.
  • Remember to have working smoke alarms and keep kids at least 3 feet from the stove.


  • Half of all home heating fires occur in December, January and February.
  • Heating equipment is involved in 1 in every 7 home fires and 1 in every 5 home fire deaths.
  • Keep anything that can burn at least 3 feet from any heat source like fireplaces, wood stoves, radiators or space heaters.
  • Keep portable generators outside, away from windows, and as far away from your home as possible.
  • Install and test carbon monoxide alarms at least once a month.
  • Plug only 1 heat-producing appliance (like a space heater) into an electrical outlet at a time.
  • Have a qualified professional clean and inspect your chimney and vents every year.
  • Store cooled ashes from your fireplace in a tightly covered metal container, and keep it outside at least 10 feet from your home and any nearby buildings.


  • More than 1/3 of home decoration fires are started by candles. Consider using battery operated candles instead.
  • Although Christmas tree fires are not common, when they do occur, they are dangerous. On average, 1 of every 52 reported home Christmas tree fires resulted in death.
  • A heat source too close to the Christmas tree causes 1 in every 4 winter fires.
  • Read manufacturer’s instructions for the number of light strands to connect.
  • Make sure your tree is at least 3 feet away from heat sources like fireplaces, radiators, space heaters, candles or heat vents. Also, make sure your tree does not block exits.
  • Get rid of your tree after Christmas or when it is dry.


  • Half of all home electrical fires involve lighting equipment or home electrical wiring.
  • Home electrical fire deaths peak between midnight and 8 a.m.
  • Peak months for electrical fire deaths are November through March.
  • Plug only 1 heat-producing appliance (like a coffee maker, space heater or microwave) directly into a wall outlet at a time.
  • Never use an extension cord with a heat-producing appliance.
  • Extension cords should only be used temporarily. Have an electrician install additional wall outlets where you need them.


  • Purchase a heater with the seal of a qualified testing laboratory.
  • Keep heater at least 3 feet away from anything that can burn.
  • Place the heater on a solid, flat surface.
  • Make sure heater auto shuts off if it tips over.
  • Never block an exit.
  • Plug the heater into the wall outlet. Never an extension cord.
  • Turn off and unplug when you leave the room or go to bed.