Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis, wearing his hat as State Fire Marshal, offered several tips Wednesday to help Floridians stay out of trouble with their turkey.
With the family feast arriving, he reminded Floridians that Thanksgiving sees three times more house fires on average than any other day of the year.
“Fire-related accidents can change a life in an instant,” Patronis said. “That is why it is so important to practice good fire safety habits while in the kitchen, especially during the holidays.”
Among the tips, Patronis stressed that “caution is key” when showing off the turkey fryer. He encouraged Floridians to set it up far away from the home and make sure the ground beneath it is level.
Patronis also warned that the bird must be completely thawed before being put into a fryer.
“Hot oil combining with ice or water is a significant fire hazard,” Patronis said.
Never overfill a fryer, he added, as oil can pour out and quickly start a fire.
Patronis advised Floridians to keep children away from the cooking. He cautioned that hot stoves, pots and pans can create steam and splash hot liquids, potentially causing serious injuries.
Lastly, Patronis said families should always have a fire extinguisher handy. He emphasized that a Class K (kitchen type) or grease-rated extinguisher “can prevent an accident from turning into a tragedy.”
“Leaving cooking unsupervised is extremely dangerous and I am encouraging all Floridians to follow these critical fire safety tips so you and your family can have a happy and safe Thanksgiving,” Patronis concluded
In 2019, Patronis released a Thanksgiving fire safety video ahead of the holiday. The video shows firefighters lowering a frozen turkey into a hot fryer, causing an oil spill and fire.
That video can be viewed online.
Patronis also serves Florida as the state’s chief financial officer.