November, December mark busiest time for kitchen fires in Minnesota

Fire officials are advising people to keep fire safety in mind while prepping for the big Thanksgiving meal this holiday.

This time of year, firefighters make more runs on cooking and stove fires than at any other time.

Wednesday around 1 p.m. Brooklyn Park firefighters responded to a kitchen fire in the 2900 block of 84th Avenue. No one was injured, but the fire caused a “significant” amount of damage in the home.

Department of Public Safety Chief Deputy Fire Marshal Jim Smith says it’s important for people to have a plan in place in case of a fire.

“One, make sure combustibles, dish towels, paper towels, things like that are a minimum of three feet away,” said Department of Public Safety Chief Deputy Fire Marshal Jim Smith. “But also have a lid or some form of cookie sheet handy very close by, so if the pan catches on fire, you simply slide the lid over the burning pan and the fire goes out.”

Smith says the worst thing you can do is pour water over stove fire. 

“The pan catches on fire and they don’t know what to do and too many times they either run out of the house without doing anything or even worse they try carrying the burning pan over to a sink or something like that and things go terribly wrong then because you’re spilling the burning product, it catches curtains on fire,” said Smith. “Prepare yourself. Have that lid or cookie sheet close by and slide it over the top.”

Fried turkey also could explode if you’re not careful.

“Fill the ban, or the boiler that you are going to use with water and put the turkey in, pull the turkey out and now you have a level of how high that oil should be inside that boiler,” said Smith. “Otherwise if you fill it too high that’s when you have the problems, you put the bird in the displacement all the oil comes out and you got troubles.”  

Fire officials also advise people to check their smoke alarms.

“This time of year the best defense or the best way to be aware of a fire in your home is a working smoke alarm,” said Smith. “They do save lives.”  

Last year, 17 people died in fires in November and December alone, which is the most fire deaths in those two months since 1995.