Cooking safety for Thanksgiving

LUGOFF, SC (WIS) - Thanksgiving meal preparation can create some dangers in your home if you're not careful.

Lugoff Fire Chief Dennis Ray says the most common cause of home fires and home fire injuries are cooking-related fires. He says when the heat is on in the kitchen, you need to be in there keeping an eye on things. What you're cooking should ever be left unattended.

“Folks fall asleep. They may have too much alcohol. They could be taking medication that makes them drowsy or they could just simply walk away,” says Ray.

If for some reason a small fire starts involving any kind of grease, wear something to protect your hand and smother it with a cover, like a pot lid. But if there is a large fire then you need a fire extinguisher handy or call 911 and get out of the home.

Also make sure that the handles of your pots and pans face sideways and never stick out where they could be bumped. This especially applies to people who have children who could run by, knock a hot pot off the stove and suffer serious burns.

There are several ways to cook a turkey, but one in particular is the most dangerous.

"Personally, I enjoy deep fried turkey and try to do at least one a year," says Ray. "But in doing so, it's also incredibly dangerous because you are dealing with really hot oil."

The oil needs to be heated to 350 degrees, and that combined with a frozen turkey could cause big flames.

Wednesday Lugoff firefighters demonstrated just how fast a fryer could go up in flames by dropping a frozen turkey  into a pot filled with too much oil. Within seconds flames flashed from the fryer.

Chief Ray says following the instructions on the turkey fryer you are using is important as well as practicing safe cooking practices for any holiday preparations.

“Our concern is our safety of folks making sure they are cooking properly preventing their home from being lost, their family members. Prevent those fires,” Ray says.

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