Florida Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis is warning Floridians ahead of Thanksgiving celebrations not to “gamble with the gobbler,” giving advice to prevent fires amid the cooking frenzy.
Patronis specifically addressed safety tips when frying a turkey, which, if it goes wrong, can burn more than the bird.
“When frying a turkey, never gamble with the gobbler and always put safety first when it comes to your holiday cooking plans,” Patronis said in a statement. “Kitchen-related accidents can cause serious property damage and can turn tragic in a manner of seconds. By following a few safety tips, Floridians can enjoy a safe Thanksgiving with family and friends.”
Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires, according to the National Fire Protection Association. NFPA advises home chefs to make sure smoke alarms are working by testing them prior to meal preparation.
Other Thanksgiving cooking safety tips include:
— Caution when frying a turkey. Set up the turkey fryer far away from the home and ensure the ground is level.
— The turkey must be completely thawed before putting it into the fryer. Hot oil combined with ice or water is a significant fire hazard. The USDA recommends thawing the turkey in the refrigerator, describing it as the safest method because the turkey will thaw at a consistent temperature. This method recommends one day for each 4-5 pounds of weight.
— Never overfill a fryer. Oil can pour out of the pot and quickly start a fire.
— Keep children away while cooking. Hot surfaces, such as a stove, can cause serious injury. Additionally, steam and splashes can also be dangerous if hot food or liquid is spilled.
— Always have a fire extinguisher. Having a Class K (kitchen type) or grease-rated extinguisher can prevent an accident from turning into a tragedy.