With Thanksgiving fast approaching, Grand Junction Fire Department is urging everyone to take action to make this a safe holiday. Thanksgiving Day is the leading day for home cooking fires in the United States. More than three times as many cooking fires occur on Thanksgiving Day as a typical day of the year.
“There is so much going on around our homes during Thanksgiving, it can be easy to lose sight of what’s on the stove or in the oven,” said Ellis Thompson-Ellis, Community Outreach Specialist. “Consider setting timers not just for when food is done, but to refocus you on the cooking in case you get distracted.”
Know what to do if a cooking fire occurs.
- Never use water or a fire extinguisher on a cooking fire.
- Always cook with a matching lid beside your pan. If you have a fire, slide the lid over the pan and turn off the burner. Do not remove the lid because the fire could start again. Let the pan cool for a long time.
- For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed. Only open the door once you’re confident the fire is completely out, standing to the side as you do. If you have any doubts or concerns, contact the fire department for assistance.
- Make sure your smoke alarms are in good working order by pressing the test button- it should loudly beep three times. Alarms over 10 years old should be replaced.
Most cooking fires are preventable with a little added care and caution.
- Never leave the kitchen while cooking on the stovetop.
- When cooking a turkey, stay at home and check it regularly.
- Make a kid and pet-free zone three feet around the oven.
- Keep things that can catch fire like oven mitts, wooden utensils, food wrappers, and towels at least three feet away from the cooking area.
- Tie back long hair, and avoid long sleeves or hanging fabrics that can come in contact with a heat source.
GJFD warns of the extreme danger of frying a turkey. If they are used, fryers should be located outdoors away from things that can catch on fire. Turkeys being fried must be completely defrosted and people should make sure that oil will not spill over when turkey is lowered in to the pot. If a turkey is not defrosted completely, the rapid rise in heat can cause water to expand, creating an explosion-like effect that can spray hot grease causing serious burns, injuries, and property damage.