Being Safe When Cooking Thanksgiving Dinner

By: Alicia Myers Email
By: Alicia Myers Email

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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

More than 40% of all residential fires are the result of cooking.

The Wichita Fire Department is called to fires every Thanksgiving. Often times, they are the result of a cooking accident, or a short-cut gone wrong.

There is nothing better than turkey and a big feast on Thanksgiving.

"That's one of the biggest cooking days for families during the year. If you have millions and millions of people cooking, you're probably going to have a Thanksgiving dinner incident," said Bob Thompson,
Chief Prevention Officer, Wichita Fire Department.

With a few safe steps, you can ensure the fire department does not crash your Thanksgiving dinner.

Always make sure your turkey is thawed, especially if you opt to fry it.

"If you're frying a turkey, take it outside, put it on the patio, or away from the house, ideally a paved surface if possible," said Thompson.

Never fry a turkey indoors, even if it is a garage, or on a porch.

Make sure the turkey is as dry as possible. Oil and water do not mix.

"What you're going to get, is a volatile reaction, basically like a volcano. It's going to come down the side, and ignite the fire. Then, you have inferno right in front of you," said Thompson.

When it comes to the stove-top, grease fires can be just as dangerous.

"The best thing to do is either put a lid on it, use a fire extinguisher or a baking soda," said Thompson.

If your dinner rolls get a bit crispy in the broiler, or the turkey catches on fire inside the oven, "Don't open the oven, because you're fueling the fire with oxygen, and it's going to come back on you, and possibly burn you. Keep it closed, and let it extinguish itself," said Thompson.

Most importantly, "Don't attempt to put the fire out yourself. Don't delay in calling the fire department," said Thompson.

Thompson said having a fire extinguisher in your kitchen is a good idea year round. Also, make sure you are not taking short-cuts, and never wear loose-fitting clothing near the stove-top or a fryer.

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