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Firefighters release tips to prevent house fires on Thanksgiving

Posted at 7:54 AM, Nov 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-20 10:54:16-05

Firefighters are reminding people to be careful while cooking their Thanksgiving meals.

They say Thanksgiving is the leading day of the year for home fires.

The Paso Robles Police Department released some tips Tuesday morning to help people reduce the risk for house fires and injuries.

  • Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stovetop so you can keep an eye on the food.
  • Stay in the home when cooking your turkey and check on it frequently.
  • Keep children away from the stove. The stove will be hot, and kids should stay three feet away.
  • Make sure kids stay away from hot food and liquids. The steam or splash from vegetables, gravy, or coffee could cause serious burns.
  • Keep the floor clear so you don’t trip over kids, toys, pocketbooks, or bags.
  • Keep knives out of the reach of children.
  • 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.
  • Keep matches and utility lighters out of the reach of children – up high in a locked cabinet.
  • Never leave children alone in a room with a lit candle.
  • Make sure your smoke alarms are working. Test them by pushing the test button.

Paso Robles firefighters also wanted to raise awareness about the dangers of turkey fryers.

Firefighters say the risk of a cooking fire increases when you fry food because turkey fryers can easily tip over and spill hot oil across a large area. Overfilled cooking pots can also allow oil to spill over when a turkey is placed inside. Turkey fryers can easily overheat and start a fire, and the pot, lid, and handles of the fryer can get hot and cause burns.

If you’re using a turkey fryer, make sure you use it outdoors on a sturdy, level surface away from anything flammable. Determine the correct amount of oil needed by placing the turkey in the pot with water beforehand. Make sure the turkey is completely thawed. If the turkey is still partially frozen, it can cause hot oil to splatter. Check the temperature often to make sure the oil doesn’t overheat and use long cooking gloves to protect yourself while using the device.

Firefighters linked to a video showing how quickly a fire can spark from a turkey fryer.