Worse than a burned turkey on Thanksgiving is a trip to the emergency room or a visit by the fire department. Dr. Fred Mullins sees people adding that trip to their holiday celebrations.
“Every Thanksgiving, we see the same thing: People get a little careless or they get distracted for just a second and disaster strikes,” said Mullins, the medical director of the Joseph M. Still Burn Center, in a news release. “Some of the burns are minor, but many are very severe and require a lot of healing and recovery.”
According to a study by State Farm Insurance, grease and cooking-related claims more than double on Thanksgiving Day. More than $15 million in property damage is attributed to turkey deep-fryer fires alone.
The oil splatter also lands children and adults in the burn center. Large clusters of people socializing near a hot stove adds to an increase in cooking-related burns.
Based on data from 2006-08, the U.S. Fire Administration estimated 2,000 Thanksgiving fires in residential buildings are reported to fire departments each year and cause an average of five deaths, 25 injuries and $21 million in property loss.
The study says fires most frequently occur between noon and 1 p.m. and most commonly are the result of cooking, followed by heating.
Richmond County sheriff’s Capt. Jack Womack said fires aren’t typically a huge problem in Richmond County. Last year, firefighters responded to one cooking-related fire on Thanksgiving Day.
“I’d be willing to say we see more than that on a normal day,” he said.