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Thanksgiving & Fire Risk: Safety Tips

A public service announcement by:


Curtis E. Falany, P.E., President
J. B. Shepherd & Company, Inc.
Forensic Electrical Engineers


According to the National Fire Protection Association, Thanksgiving is the peak day of the year for home cooking fires, as safety precautions can be easily overlooked while preparing a Thanksgiving feast. Below are some helpful tips to keep you, and your family safe this Thanksgiving:

  • Insure that all smoke detectors are operational and can be heard in all areas of your home. Be sure to test each alarm on a monthly basis, this determines the status of their battery life, and remember to replace batteries once a year.
  • Confirm that GFCIs (Ground fault circuit interrupters) are functional in areas that will receive heavy usage on Thanksgiving, or in areas that are at risk of water contact. GFCIs can help prevent electrocution, these devices cut off the power when a ground fault, or leakage current is detected before someone receives a shock.
  • Never leave appliances unattended while in use, all cooking should be closely supervised. Timers can be used to avoid forgetting about a dish, and ultimately aid in preventing cooking from becoming a fire hazard.
  • Keep potential hazards out of reach from guests, children, and pets. Secure electrical wires and appliances away from visitors as you may experience higher than usual traffic in your home on Thanksgiving.
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Kirsten Denny

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We are forensic consulting engineers. We have established, demonstrable experience in both the electric utility industry and the electric construction industry. Our practice is dedicated to helping clients understand how electricity works and what happens when it fails to work properly or safely.