Greg Adamietz, an Assistant Fire Marshall from the St. Cloud Fire Department, stopped by last week and chatted with me about some things we need to keep in mind as the holidays roll in.

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It's super easy to forget that just because the holidays are here, we still have to pay attention to what we're doing, especially when it comes to cooking.


Cooking is the main cause of fires just about any time of the year, but it's especially bad on Thanksgiving. According to FEMA, the average number of home fires doubles on Thanksgiving in residential buildings.

With that in mind, I'm encouraging you to be in the moment and be smart about cooking your holiday meal. Here are some great tips to help you stay on task.

  • Most fires start with frying food. Never leave frying food unattended. It can quickly get out of control, and even though you're just trying to multitask by going downstairs to do a load of laundry, too many times we get distracted once we step out of the kitchen. Best to stick to the task at hand when we are talking about frying.
  • Roll up your sleeves. Better yet, maybe wear a short-sleeved shirt when you're cooking.
  • Watch what you are cooking. Whether you are cooking on the stove, in a smoker, or grill outside, it's best to never leave it unattended.
  • If you notice there is a fire in the oven, KEEP THE DOOR CLOSED. Turn the oven off, and don't open the door until the fire is out.

Greg said that the holidays are a great reminder to check things like your smoke detectors, and CO2 Detectors. Don't wait for your batteries to die. Switch them all out twice a year. Maybe Thanksgiving morning every year, you change out all the batteries. Find another holiday about 6 months away for your second check of the year to do the same thing.

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