Fire officials offer cooking, turkey frying safety tips

Published: Nov. 23, 2011 at 3:49 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 12, 2011 at 12:28 AM EST
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SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Savannah Fire & Emergency Services is reminding residents to keep safety in mind while cooking over the Thanksgiving holiday.

Cooking fires are the No. 1 cause of house fires and injuries with three times the number of house fires involving cooking equipment, according to SFES. Most cooking fires involve the stovetop and the leading cause of fires in the kitchen is unattended cooking.

SFES offered these kitchen safety tips to avoid fires and injury:

  • Wear short sleeves or tightly rolled sleeves. Avoid loose fitting clothing.
  • Keep cooking area clean and free of combustible materials.
  • Watch for built-up grease that can catch fire in the oven or on the stovetop. Wrappers and other materials on or near the stove may also catch fire.
  • Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling or broiling food. Turn off the stove if you walk away for any period of time.
  • Always keep a lid nearby when cooking.
  • If a small grease fire starts in a pan, smother the flames by carefully sliding the lid over the pan. Turn off the burner. Do not move the pan. To keep the fire from restarting, leave the lid on until the pan is completely cool.
  • In an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.
  • In many cases, the smartest thing to do is leave the home, closing the door on the way, and calling the fire department from outside or a neighbor's house.

Turkey fryer safety tips from SFES:

  • Use turkey fryers outdoors at safe distance from buildings and any other material that can burn.
  • Never use turkey fryers on wooden decks or in garages.
  • Make sure fryer is a flat surface to reduce accidental tipping.
  • Never leave the fryer unattended. Most units do not have thermostat controls. The oil can continue to heat until it catches fire.
  • Never let children or pets near the fryer. Even after use, never allow children or pets near the turkey fryer.
  • 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 don't mix, and water causes oil to spill over, causing a fire or even an explosion hazard.
  • Keep an all-purpose fire extinguisher nearby. Never use water to extinguish a grease fire.

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