NEWS RELEASE: Thanksgiving turkey fires cause for concern at 9-1-1 centre

Vancouver, B.C. — E-Comm’s fire dispatch team is warning families to be extra mindful of their turkey cooking during Thanksgiving weekend, which also happens to be the start of national Fire Prevention Week (Oct. 7 to 13).

 “A turkey isn’t something you typically see on a list of household fire hazards, but we get 9-1-1 calls about ovens going up in flames all the time,” says Corey Kelso, E-Comm fire dispatcher and a volunteer firefighter with Pitt Meadows. “The result can be devastating if you’re not careful every time you have something cooking for an extended period of time.”

Fire Prevention Week is a national initiative to promote fire safety through education, and strives to bring awareness to the dangers of fire and how we can protect ourselves, including checking smoke alarms regularly and planning escape routes from your homes.

E-Comm has received some pretty odd calls to 9-1-1 before – including someone wanting to know how long to cook a turkey – but a turkey fire is no joke. In fact, it is a leading cause of spikes in 9-1-1 calls over the holidays.

 “A flame in your oven can start easily and escalate quickly,” says Kelso. “Oil drippings through a thin tinfoil turkey pan or bits of leftover food residue inside your oven are extremely flammable in a high temperature setting.”

To prevent a fire, ensure your oven is clean before cooking a turkey. In the event of an oven fire, turn the oven off, keep the oven door closed, dial 9-1-1 and follow the call-taker’s instructions.

Although the numbers continue to decrease, loss and injury from fire in Canada still remains high: Fire Prevention Canada reports that eight Canadians die from fire-related situations every week, with residential fires accounting for 73 per cent of these fatalities.

Fire Prevention Week is an opportunity for emergency service partners to band together and promote fire safety and emergency education for residents across the country under this year’s theme, Have Two Ways Out. E-Comm is reaching out to residents in local communities to increase emergency awareness starting from within our own homes: check your smoke alarms regularly, practise escape routes with family members and teach your children how to call 9-1-1 if they see or smell smoke. For more learning material on 9-1-1 and fire safety tips for the home, visit or Fire Prevention Canada’s website at

E-Comm 9-1-1 provides dispatch to 18 fire departments in southwest B.C. and answers almost one million 9-1-1 calls each year for Metro Vancouver, the Sunshine Coast, Whistler, Squamish, Pemberton and the southern Squamish-Lillooet Regional District. For important news, info and tips from our emergency communications centre, follow us on Twitter: @EComm911_info.


Media contact:
Patricia Hall
604-215-4877 or 604-640-1342 (pager)
[email protected]