SERVPRO Press Release

Restoration Service Spark Discussion on Thanksgiving Fires

Experts recommend people prevent their holiday from turning into an emergency by following a few precautions

GALLATIN, Tenn. (November 2, 2009) -- In anticipation of the Thanksgiving holiday, many cooks are busy stocking up on ingredients and perfecting family recipes. But before they mash the potatoes or roast the turkey, they will want to take precautions to ensure that their kitchen doesn’t end up in flames.

An unfortunate danger of home cooking, residential fires grow in prevalence during the holiday season. In fact, according to the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA), Thanksgiving is the top day for home cooking fires, with more than three times the daily average of fires reportedly occurring on the holiday.

"Thanksgiving is a day filled with food and family, but it is also a day that presents many hazards to your home," said Rick Isaacson, executive vice president of SERVPRO Industries, Inc. "With multiple tasks taking place in the kitchen at once, it is all too easy for cooks to get distracted and for accidents to take place."

Isaacson says that by adhering to the following tips, provided by the NFPA, people can lessen their chances of a fire ruining their Thanksgiving feast:

• Be present – Fires often start when items cooking are left unattended, so always stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, baking or broiling food. If you must leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the oven or stove. 

• Dress accordingly – Avoid wearing loose clothing or dangling sleeves while cooking. Loose clothing can easily catch fire if it comes in contact with a gas flame or electric burner.

• Keep kids out – Enforce a "kid free zone" of three feet around the perimeter of the stove. If kids are present in the kitchen, use the stove's back burners whenever possible and turn pot handles inward to reduce the risk that pots with hot contents will be knocked over.

• Clean, clean, clean – Be sure your stove top and oven are free of grease, which can easily catch fire. Additionally, keep all combustible cooking accessories, such as pot holders, oven mitts and wooden utensils, away from the stove top.

"We recognize people have a lot on their minds when they're entertaining during the holidays, but kitchen safety really should be an utmost priority," added Isaacson. "Fires only take a matter of seconds to erupt. The best defense against them is to prevent them from ever happening."

Isaacson notes that if a fire should ignite in the oven, people should turn off the oven, unplug the appliance and remove any dish towels that may be hanging on the front of the oven door. A fire extinguisher should always be at hand to quickly extinguish any fires that may occur on the top of the stove. Of course, in the event of an emergency, Isaacson says that people should never hesitate to call 911.

In the event of damage caused by a residential fire, SERVPRO offers an assortment of services to help people quickly recover and restore any damaged property. Within four hours of the initial notification, a SERVPRO Franchise Professional will be on-site to start the mitigation process. Exceptions may apply under certain conditions.

For more information on SERVPRO, please visit

Founded in 1967, the SERVPRO franchise system is a national leader and provider of fire and water cleanup and restoration services and mold mitigation and remediation. SERVPRO's professional services network of more than 1,400 individually owned and operated franchises responds to property damage emergencies ranging from small individual disasters to multi-million dollar large-loss situations. Providing coverage in 48 states, the SERVPRO System has established relationships with major insurance companies and commercial clients, as well as individual homeowners. All SERVPRO franchises are independently owned and operated.