Murfreesboro, Tenn [November 23, 2020] — From stuffing to turkey, everyone has a favorite Thanksgiving menu. As you plan your holiday meal, the Murfreesboro Fire Rescue Department (MFRD) offers safe cooking and turkey frying tips to help you keep your Thanksgiving dinner delicious and safe.
Cooking is the number one cause of home fires. Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires.
“No matter how many years you’ve been cooking, or how many Thanksgiving feasts you’ve prepared, you still need to make safety your main ingredient,” says Assistant Chief Carl Peas.
Start with these prevention tips:
- Make your cooking area safe. Move things that can burn away from the stove. Turn pot handles toward the back of the stove to prevent from knocking over.
- Never leave food unattended. Use a timer when roasting a turkey or baking pies.
- Be prepared. Keep a large pan lid or baking sheet handy in case you need to smother a pan fire.
- Stay awake and alert while you’re cooking. If you see smoke or the grease starts to boil in your pan, turn the burner off.
- Prevent burns. Wear short sleeves when you cook or roll them up. Don’t lean over the burner. Use potholders and oven mitts to handle hot cookware.
“If you cannot immediately extinguish a small cooking fire, exit the house and call 911,” Peas says.
A Note About Frying Turkeys
Deep-frying turkeys has become popular in recent years. This cooking method has a lot of risks. Turkey fryers get hot all over, so they need to be handled with great care and only by an adult. They can tip over, spilling hot cooking oil. Partially frozen turkeys placed into hot fryers will cause the oil to splatter. If fryers are over-filled, the hot oil will spill over the side when the turkey is submerged. Even a small amount of oil on a hot burner can start a fire.
If you deep-fry a turkey, place the fryer outside on a non-combustible flat surface, such as cement and away from any structures. Don’t let children or pets come anywhere near it. Use a fryer with thermostat controls, without these controls, the oil can heat to the point of catching fire. Use potholders and oven mitts when handling the turkey.
For additional fire safety and burn prevention information, contact MFRD’s Community Risk Reduction Division at 615-893-1422.