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Posted on: November 20, 2023

A Thanksgiving Cooking Safety Guide from Santa Rosa Fire Department

Thanksgiving 2023 Photo graphic

As we prepare for a fun and safe Thanksgiving holiday, the Santa Rosa Fire Department is here with a friendly reminder to keep cooking safety at the forefront of your festivities. Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires with more than three times the daily average for such incidents. While the aroma of roasting turkeys and the sizzle of savory side dishes fill the air, it's crucial to navigate the kitchen with caution. Here are some quick Thanksgiving cooking safety tips to ensure your celebration remains a fire-free feast. From stove-top, to ovens, to the proper handling of deep fryers, we've got you covered! 

Top safety tips from our friends at the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA):

  • 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. Steaming or splashing vegetables, gravy or coffee could cause serious burns.
  • Keep knives out of the reach of children.
  • Be sure electric cords from electric kitchen appliances or warming appliances, are not dangling off the counter within easy reach of a child.
  • Make sure your smoke alarms are working. Test them by pushing the test button.
  • If you have a small (grease) cooking fire on the stovetop, smother the flames by sliding a lid over the pan and turning off the burner. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.
  • For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed

 Plan to use a Turkey Fryer? Keep safe with these safety guidelines:

  • Always use the fryer outdoors on a flat surface, safely away from structures, wooden decks, and covered patios. No matter what, DO NOT be tempted to use the fryer in a garage.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher specifically made for grease fires nearby and do not ‌extinguish grease fires with water.
  • To ensure you are using the right amount of oil, place a thawed turkey in the fry pot and add enough water to cover the bird by ½". Remove the turkey and mark the water level. Dump the water and thoroughly dry the pot and turkey. Fill the pot with oil to the marked level.
  • Do not leave the fryer unattended. Monitor the temperature of the oil with a thermometer to prevent the oil from overheating and catching fire. If the oil begins to smoke, immediately turn the gas off.
  • Ensure the turkey is COMPLETELY THAWED to prevent a fire or explosion hazard.
  • Raise and lower the turkey slowly to prevent oil splatter, burns, and fire.
  • Keep children and pets away from the fryer to prevent tipping, even after the turkey is done. The oil is dangerously hot for hours.
  • Use your safety tools: Oven mitts, gloves, and safety goggles.
  • Stand upwind of the propane tank and fryer so heat blows away from you.

 For more information on Thanksgiving Cooking Safety, please view a safety tip sheet HERE 

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