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Valdosta Fire Dept. shares kitchen safety tips for a safe Thanksgiving

Published: Nov. 24, 2021 at 7:15 PM EST
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VALDOSTA, Ga. (WALB) - Most of you are already getting busy in the kitchen, stirring up your best Thanksgiving recipes.

With cooking fires being the leading cause of house fires across the nation.

Valdosta Fire Department wants to caution the community and make sure everyone keeps safety in mind.

“We just want to make sure we keep all handles of pots and pans turned inward and not hanging off so that children coming by curious, don’t pull on the handles or pets inside the home knock the pan over. Stay safe and enjoy your family this holiday,” said Chief Brian Boutwell.

Prevention Tips:

  • Make your cooking area safe. Move things that can burn away from the stove. Turn pot handles toward the back so that they can’t be bumped.
  • Watch what you’re cooking. Use a timer when roasting a turkey or baking pies.
  • Be prepared. Keep a large pan lid or baking sheet handy in case you need to smother a fire in a pan.
  • Stay awake and alert while you’re cooking. If you see smoke or the grease starts to boil in your pan, turn the burner off.
  • Prevent burns. Wear short sleeves when you cook or roll them up. Don’t lean over the burner. Use potholders and oven mitts to handle hot cookware.

Turkey Frying Tips:

Deep-frying turkeys have become popular in recent years. This cooking method has a lot of risks. Turkey fryers get hot all over, so they need to be handled with great care and only by an adult. They can tip over, spilling hot cooking oil.

Partially frozen turkeys placed into hot fryers will cause the oil to splatter. If fryers are overfilled, the hot oil will spill over the side when the turkey is added. Even a small amount of oil on a hot burner can start a fire.

If you deep-fry a turkey, place the fryer outside on a flat surface that can’t burn, such as cement. Place the fryer several feet from anything that can catch fire. Don’t let children or pets come anywhere near it. An adult should watch the fryer while it cooks.

Use a fryer with thermostat controls. Without these controls, the oil can heat to the point of catching fire. Thaw the turkey completely before cooking it so that ice crystals won’t splatter the hot oil. Use potholders and oven mitts when handling the turkey.

There’s nothing more satisfying than cooking a good meal for the people we love. Make safety a priority in your kitchen at Thanksgiving and all year long.

For additional fire safety and burn prevention information, call VFD at (229) 333-1835.

VFD says they had a quiet Thanksgiving last year with no increase in calls. They hope this year is too.

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