Tips to avoid fire hazards this Thanksgiving

Holidays

An oil-free turkey fryer eliminates all the hassles of dealing with hot oil, so it’s an excellent option for anyone new to frying.

SUFFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — With Thanksgiving just around the corner, members of Suffolk Fire & Rescue have offered safety tips and advice to keep your loved ones safe from fire hazards.

Be sure to keep these tips in mind on Turkey Day:

  • Keep a close watch on your cooking. You should never leave cooking food unattended.
  • Keep oven food packaging and other combustibles such as pot holders and dishtowels away from burners and heat sources.
  • Heat cooking oil slowly and watch it closely; it can ignite quickly.
  • Don’t wear loose sleeves while working over hot stove burners – they can melt, ignite or catch on handles of pots and pans spilling hot oil and other liquids.
  • Have a “kid-free zone” of at least three-feet around the stove and areas where hot foods or drinks are prepared or carried.
  • Keep a lid nearby to smother small grease fires. Smother the fire by sliding the lid over the pan and turn off the stovetop. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cool.
  • Turn all handles from pots and pans inward so you don’t knock them off of the stove.
  • Don’t leave holiday candles unattended, and keep matches and lighters out of the reach of children.
  • Keep the floor clear so you don’t trip over kids, toys, pocketbooks or bags.

Thanksgiving wouldn’t be the same without the turkey. And deep-fried turkey has become a favorite Thanksgiving tradition in many households.

Backyard chefs should follow these helpful tips when deep-frying a turkey:

  • Turkey fryers should always be used outdoors a safe distance from buildings and any other flammable materials.
  • Never use turkey fryers in a garage or on a wooden deck.
  • Make sure the fryers are used on a flat surface to reduce accidental tipping.
  • Never leave the fryer unattended. Most units do not have thermostat controls. If you do not watch the fryer carefully, the oil will continue to heat until it catches fire.
  • Never let children or pets near the fryer even if it is not in use. The oil inside the cooking pot can remain dangerously hot hours after use.
  • To avoid oil spillover, do not overfill the fryer.
  • Use well-insulated potholders or oven mitts when touching pot or lid handles. If possible, wear safety goggles to protect your eyes from oil splatter.
  • Make sure the turkey is completely thawed and be careful with marinades. Oil and water do not mix, and water causes oil to spill over causing a fire or even an explosion hazard.
  • The National Turkey Federation (NTF) recommends thawing the turkey in the refrigerator approximately 24 hours for every five pounds in weight.
  • Keep an all-purpose fire extinguisher nearby. Never use water to extinguish a grease fire. If the fire is manageable, use your all-purpose fire extinguisher. If the fire increases, immediately call 911 for help.

For more information on celebrating Thanksgiving safely, call Suffolk Fire & Rescue at (757) 514-4540.

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Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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