Protect Your Home and Your Turkey! Be Fire Ready on Thanksgiving


Thanksgiving is a time when many Californians will gather with loved ones. It’s also a time when it’s easy to get distracted while making that amazing Thanksgiving meal.

Distractions can potentially lead to a fire in the kitchen or other parts of the house. Don’t let this holiday season turn into an emergency.

At the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES), we believe being prepared for a fire can help keep you, your loved ones, and your home safer this holiday season.


Fire can move quickly and every second counts. Creating a fire escape plan now, will prepare you to act quickly in case of a fire.

Fire Escape Plan

  • Find two ways out of each room in the event the primary way out is blocked by fire or some.
  • Check for stuck windows and be sure screens can be taken out quickly.
  • Teach children not to hide from firefighters.

Escape Plan for People with Access or Functional Needs

  • If you use a walker or wheelchair, check all exits to make sure you can get through any doorways.
  • Speak to your family members or neighbors about your fire safety plan and practice it with them.
  • Keep a phone nearby and be ready to call 911 if a fire occurs.

Smoke Alarms

A working smoke alarm significantly increases your chances of surviving a deadly home fire. Be sure to test your smoke alarms once a month and replace them 10 years from the date of manufacture.

It’s important to think of those with access or functional needs when purchasing smoke alarms for the home.

  • Audible alarms for visually impaired people should pause between cycles so they can listen to the instructions of others.
  • For the hearing impaired – contact your local fire department for information about obtaining a flashing or vibrating smoke alarm.


There are important steps you can take to reduce the chance of injury or death during a home fire.

  • If possible, crawl low under smoke towards the exit.
  • Before opening a door, feel the doorknob and door. If either is hot, leave the room using your secondary exit route.
    • If you do open a door, open it slowly and be prepared to shut it quickly if heavy smoke or fire is present.
  • If assisting someone with access or functional needs, tell the 911 operator or firefighters where in the home the person is located.
  • If pets are trapped inside your home, tell firefighters immediately when they arrive.
  • If you can’t get out, close the door, and cover cracks around doors with cloth to keep smoke out.
  • If your clothes catch fire, remember to Stop, Drop and Roll.


Preventing home fires is possible! A few simple steps will keep your loved ones and your home safe.


  • Stay in the kitchen while you are frying or grilling food.
  • If an appliance has a three-prong plug, don’t force it into a two-slot outlet or extension cord.
  • Immediately shut off light switches that are hot to the touch and lights that flicker. It is best to replace them before using again.

Portable Space Heaters

  • Keep flammable objects at least three feet away from portable heating devices.
  • Make sure the portable heater has a thermostat control mechanism and will turn off automatically if the heater falls over.

Fireplaces and Woodstoves

  • Inspect and clean woodstove pipes and fireplaces annually.
  • Use a fireplace screen heavy enough to stop rolling logs and big enough to cover the entire opening of the fireplace.
  • Make sure the fire is completely out before leaving the house or going to bed to prevent flying sparks that could lead to a fire.