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Franklin Fire Marshal Offers Safety Tips and Fun Ideas for Your Thanksgiving Meal

“Kids in the Kitchen” guide provides suggestions on how to involve children in safely preparing the holiday meal

Post Date:11/22/2017 1:43 PM

 Brentwood Thanksgiving Day fire 2009

 Above: Photo of a Thanksgiving Day fire in Brentwood 2009 that started after a turkey was grilled on the back deck of the home.   Brentwood Fire & Rescue responded and the Franklin Fire Department provided mutual aid. 

Franklin, TN – Thanksgiving Day is the peak day for home cooking fires*, with three times the average number, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).  The NFPA reports that in 2015, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 1,760 home cooking fires on Thanksgiving.  Unattended cooking was by far the leading contributing factor in cooking fires and fire deaths.  With that in mind, Franklin Fire Marshal Andy King encourages you to use the resources below to keep your family safe during this joyous but hectic time:


King said, “It’s fun to involve children in the holiday meal preparation, but it’s important to help them stay safe in the kitchen.”  He recommends following NFPA’s “Kids in the Kitchen” guide (click HERE or see below) for ideas on what different age groups can do around the kitchen as you prepare your holiday meal.

Kids aged 3 – 5 can:

  • Get ingredients out of the refrigerator
  • Measure and mix ingredients together in a bowl
  • Pour liquids into a bowl
  • Wash fruits and vegetables off under cold water
  • Use a cookie cutter to cut shapes out of cook dough or sandwiches
  • Like cake batter off of a spoon (yum!)

Kids aged 6 – 8 can:

  • Open packages
  • Use a butter knife to spread frosting, cream cheese, peanut butter or soft cheese
  • Peel vegetables
  • Measure ingredients
  • Stir ingredients in a bowl
  • Set the table

Kids aged 9 – 12 can:

  • Begin to follow a recipe
  • Open cans
  • Use electrical kitchen appliances, such as a microwave oven, when a grown-up is present
  • Use a grater to shred cheese and vegetables
  • Turn stove burners on and off and select oven temperature when a grown-up is present
  • Help plan the meal
  • Make a salad

Kids aged 14+ can:

  • Operate the stove or oven without an adult present
  • Heat food up in the microwave without an adult present
  • Drain cooked pasta into a colander
  • Take a tray of food out of the oven 


Because you are more likely on Thanksgiving to encounter a cooking fire, King offers the following advice for what to do:

  • Stovetop grease fire: Never use water to extinguish a grease fire.  Smother the flames by sliding a lid over the pan and turning off the burner. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.  Call 911, even if you think the fire is out.
  • Oven or microwave fire: Turn off the heat or power and keep the door closed.  Call 911.
  • Turkey fryer fire: To watch a video that demonstrates the dangers of turkey fryer fires, follow this link: .  If you see smoke coming off your pot or oil, that’s a sign it has overheated and is nearing ignition.  Shut it off and let the oil cool down.  Keep a multi-purpose, “ABC” fire extinguisher close by in case a fire does start.  Use it only after calling 911.  To use your extinguisher remember the acronym “PASS”: 
  •  Pull the pin
  • Aim at the base of the fire
  • Squeeze the handle
  • Sweep back and forth from side to side until the fire is out

King said you may have as little as two minutes to escape a burning home, “If fire or smoke is spreading, get everyone out of the house immediately and call 911.”  He added, “We at the Franklin Fire Department are thankful for another safe year of serving our Franklin residents and guests.  We wish everyone a safe Thanksgiving.”

*Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires, followed by the day before Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and Christmas Eve.


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