Preventing Cooking Fires This Thanksgiving

Jackson County's Fire District 3 is offering cooking tips on how to stay safe while in the kitchen this Thanksgiving. In 2015, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 1,760 home cooking fires on Thanksgiving, the peak day for such fires.

Posted: Nov 23, 2017 8:55 AM
Updated: Nov 23, 2017 10:43 AM

WHITE CITY, Ore. -- Jackson County's Fire District 3 is offering cooking tips on how to stay safe while in the kitchen this Thanksgiving. In 2015, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 1,760 home cooking fires on Thanksgiving, the peak day for such fires. Cooking equipment was involved in almost half of all reported home fires and home fire injuries and is the second leading cause of home fire deaths.

"Really we want to educate all of the community about holiday cooking and we really see a spike in structure fires and medical aid during this time," said Fire & Life Safety Specialist Ashley Blakely, with Fire District 3. "We do have a lot more family, a lot more cooking and dinners to celebrate so want to make sure that we're doing it safely."

Blakely said one favorite family tradition has a tendency to become a fire hazard: frying your Thanksgiving Turkey. To help keep the community educated on potential dangers of frying a turkey, Jackson County's Fire District 3 staged a demonstration on how not to fry a turkey. 

"Some of the big 'don'ts' that we see often are cooking a turkey on an area that's not great for fryer grease," said Blakely. "So things like decks, or when you're really close to home, or in an enclosed structure are really areas we should never cook a turkey with a fryer. We want to be on asphalt, concrete or dirt."

Blakely also said it's important to follow the manufacturer's instructions on how much oil to put in, and the kind an temperature of the oil.

"Over filling, spilling splattering - those can be very dangerous. Especially if it's done on a wooden surface or close to a wooden surface. That can tend to lead to a structure fire or burns on someone and so we don't want to have to respond anything like that this year," said Blakely.

You can watch the video above to see Fire District 3 demonstrate what can happen if you don't follow these safety tips!

If you're not frying your Thanksgiving bird today, here are some other safety tips courtesy of Fire District 3 that can keep you and your family safe this holiday:

  1. Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stove top so you can keep an eye on the food
  2. stay in the home when cooking your turkey and check on it frequently
  3. Keep children away from the stove
  4. Keep the floor clear so you don't trip
  5. Keep knives out of reach of children
  6. Be sure electric cords from an electric knife, coffee maker, plate warmer or mixer are not dangling off the counter within easy reach of a child
  7. keep matches and utility lighters out of reach of children 
  8. Monitor open flames like candles
  9. Make sure kids stay away form any hot liquids. The steam splash from vegetables, gravy or coffee could cause serious burns
  10. Make sure your smoke alarms are working

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