Clark County Fire Department Encourages Safety Practices in the Kitchen This Holiday Season

Clark County Fire Department Encourages Safety Practices in the Kitchen This Holiday Season

As the holiday season approaches, the Clark County Fire Department and UMC Hospital would like to remind everyone that safety should be the number one priority this season. Cooking is the leading cause of home fires and injuries in the United States, so it’s important to be aware of potential dangers while preparing festive meals this year. Thanksgiving is the leading day of the year for cooking-related fires, followed by Christmas Day and Christmas Eve.

“The holidays are a fun and active time for families, especially in their kitchens where it may be easy to get distracted,” said Clark County Fire Department Chief John Steinbeck. “It’s important to never leave food cooking on a stove top unattended and to keep a safe distance from burners and hot foods or liquids. This is also a good time of year to make sure your household smoke detectors are in good working order in case of fire.”

"The holidays are a time of celebrations and family gatherings. During this time, it is extremely important to stay vigilant to avoid burn injuries not just for yourself, but also for your loved ones. When you are in the kitchen, something as simple as forgetting to put on your oven mitts or not keeping a close eye on the hot stove can lead to a serious burn,” said UMC Lions Burn Care Center Medical Director Dr. Syed Squib. “On average, UMC’s Lions Burn Care Center admits 10 patients each year for cooking-related burns during the holiday season.  If you do sustain a burn, as Nevada’s only Verified Burn Care Center, our dedicated team is always here to help you."

Statistics from the UMC’s Lions Burn Care Center reveal that during the period of Thanksgiving to New Year’s Eve 2022, four individuals required hospitalization due to severe burns sustained in kitchen mishaps. Additionally, thirteen patients sought medical attention for their injuries and were successfully treated before being released. The kitchen, often the heart of festive celebrations, can pose unexpected risks, and these figures emphasize the importance of practicing caution and safety measures while engaging in holiday cooking activities.

Deep frying is the cooking method that poses the highest risk of fire, and for that reason, the Clark County Fire Department is encouraging all to take specific precautions before frying up a turkey. The large amount of oil and high cooking temperatures can turn cooking into a frightening and devastating experience.

A Clark County TV PSA created in partnership with the Fire Department and the Clark County Water Reclamation District offers tips for safe cooking and the proper disposal of cooking oil. The video is on YouTube at Cooking oil and grease should never be poured down a drain because it clogs sinks and pipes. More information about the Water Reclamation District’s Pain in the Drain campaign is available at     

The following safety tips are recommended to prevent cooking fires:

When cooking:

  • Be on alert! If you are sleepy, consumed alcohol, or taking medication that makes you drowsy, you should not be cooking.
  • Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, boiling, or broiling food.
  • Never leave cooking food unattended.
  • If you are simmering, baking, or roasting food, check it regularly. Remain in the home while cooking and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.
  • Keep anything that can catch fire — oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels, or curtains -- away from your stovetop.
  • Do not wear loose fitting clothing while cooking as they can catch fire.
  • Adult supervision of children is always needed in kitchens and all cooking areas. Secure cords, knives, and equipment out of easy reach from a child, and remove any tripping hazards. Keep matches and lighters out of the reach of children – up high in a locked cabinet.
  • Never use a turkey fryer indoors, in a garage, or under an awning. Make sure it is on a flat level surface and away from structures, tree branches or bushes.

If you have a cooking fire:

  • Do not use a fire extinguisher on a grease fire as this could spread the fire by spraying it around the kitchen.  
  • Always cook with a lid beside your pan. If you have a fire, slide the lid over the pan and turn off the burner. Do not remove the cover because the fire could start again. Let the pan cool for a long time. Never throw water on the fire.
  • Do not use a fire extinguisher on a grease fire as this could spread the fire by spraying it around the kitchen.  
  • For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.
  • Don’t take risks with a fire. When in doubt, get out of the home and call 911.

After cooking:

  • Let the cooking oil cool completely.
  • Don’t pour it down the drain because it clogs pipes. 
  • Instead, put it in a can or jar and toss it in the trash.


Clark County is a dynamic and innovative organization dedicated to providing top-quality service with integrity, respect, accountability, leadership, and excellence. With jurisdiction over the world-famous Las Vegas Strip and covering an area the size of New Jersey, Clark is the nation’s 11th-largest county and provides extensive regional services to 2.3 million citizens and 41 million visitors a year (2022). Included are the nation’s 8th-busiest airport, air quality compliance, social services and the state’s largest public hospital, University Medical Center. The County also provides municipal services that are traditionally provided by cities to 1 million residents in the unincorporated area. Those include fire protection, roads and other public works, parks and recreation, and planning and development.


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