While homes across the City are planning their Thanksgiving feasts, Jacksonville Fire and Emergency Services wants to make sure it is a safe holiday.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), Thanksgiving is the leading day of the year for home fires involving cooking equipment, more than three times than the average day.
However, these fires are preventable.
Cooking Safety Tips
Jacksonville Fire and Emergency Services offers the following tips:
- Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stovetop so you can keep an eye on the food. If you need to leave the kitchen, turn off the stove.
- 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 a minimum of 3 feet away.
- Make sure kids stay away from hot food and liquids.
- The steam or splash from vegetables, gravy or coffee could cause serious burns.
- Keep the floor clear so you do not trip over kids, toys, purses or bags.
- Keep knives out of the reach of children.
- Be sure electric cords from an electric knife, coffee maker, plate warmer or mixer are not dangling off the counter within easy reach of a child.
- Keep matches and utility lighters out of the reach of children — up high in a locked cabinet.
- Never leave children alone in room with a lit candle.
- Make sure your smoke alarms are working. Test them by pushing the test button.
Deep-frying Safety Tips
Deep-frying a turkey has become very popular method of cooking. While Jacksonville Fire & Emergency Services does not recommend the use of oil-filled fryers, if you choose this method, please consider the following tips from Jacksonville Fire & Emergency Services.
- Only use an approved turkey fryer with four legs and a built-in thermostat, to maintain proper oil temperature. Make sure the fryer cannot tip over.
- Never use a fryer indoors. Fry your turkey outside, away from buildings and anything that might catch fire. Keep children and pets away while frying.
- Follow instructions on what size turkey to use, how to cook it and what type of oil to use.
- Make sure the turkey is completely thawed and dry when you put it in the fryer. Do not stuff the bird and do not forget to take out the bag of gizzards. Lower the turkey into the hot oil slowly.
- Never leave the fryer unattended, and make sure you wear fry gloves. Regular oven mitts might not be enough, as splashing oil can cause serious burns.
- If you are frying your turkey in an apartment complex, make sure you keep the fryer at least 10 feet from any buildings or walls. The fryer cannot be under an overhang or balcony, and it cannot be used above the first floor or on patios of upper floors.
At the end of the Thanksgiving festivities, make sure to do a final check of all appliances in your home, especially the stove. Make sure everything is turned off. Be sure that any ashes from fireplaces or barbecues are put in a pail of water.
The Jacksonville Department of Public Safety wishes everyone a safe and Happy Thanksgiving.