According to the The Fairfax County Health Department, Thanksgiving Day is the busiest day for fire service, more than three times the daily average. It was startling to learn that more property damage and lives are lost in residential structure fires on Thanksgiving Day than any other day of the year. The increase applies mostly to cooking fires in family homes, especially with the introduction of the turkey fryer. Turkey fryers, if not used according to manufacturers directions, can lead to devastating burns, other injuries, destruction of property and ruin an otherwise enjoyable family time.
They offered these helpful safety tips
- Always use cooking equipment tested and approved by a recognized testing facility.
- Stay in the kitchen when you are frying or grilling food. If you leave the kitchen, turn off the stove.
- Keep anything that can catch fire--potholders, towels, or curtains away from the stovetop.
- Have a "kid-free zone" of at least three feet around the stove.
- Wear short, close fitting or tightly rolled sleeves when cooking.
- Always keep an oven mitt and lid nearby when cooking.
- When placing the turkey into the oven or turkey fryer, be extremely careful.
- Review instructions on using your kitchen fire extinguisher before cooking.
- Make sure your cooking equipment has properly working ventilation system.
- Listen to the football game instead of TV. Full attention is needed in the kitchen with so many things cooking at the same time.
- Keep burn cream handy for minor burns, quick application will help ease the pain and get you back on task
- Don't be afraid to ask for help from family. You may be able to avoid a bigger fire and the team work will be a wonderful family memory.
- Keep a full box or two of baking soda nearby, spreading on grease fire helps in distinguishing.
- Don't have lit candles on your kitchen counter or island. The smell of the cooking turkey and trimmings are the desired scent of the day.
- In the event, you need immediate emergency attention don't hesitate to call 911.
- Most urgent care centers are open on Thanksgiving - see Urgent Care Centers on WhereToFindCare.com to find one near you.