With Thanksgiving being the nation’s peak day for home cooking fires, Rutherford County Fire & Rescue officials want to make sure the community prepares for a safe and enjoyable holiday.
Joshua Sanders, Inspector/Investigator for Rutherford County Fire & Rescue, urges citizens to follow a few general rules of safety when preparing the Thanksgiving feast:
- 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 at least three feet away from the stove and other hot surfaces.
- Be sure that electric cords from an electric knife, coffee makers, plate warmer or mixer are not dangling off of the counter within a child’s reach.
- Keep matches and utility lighters out of reach of children—up high in a locked cabinet.
- Never leave children alone in a room with a lit candle.
Sanders, with the assistance from RCTV, filmed an instructional video on the safe way to deep fry a turkey, highlighting the consequences of doing things the WRONG way. These safety tips can help prevent a turkey frying disaster:
- Do not overfill your fryer. An overfilled pot will cause oil to spill over when the turkey is placed inside.
- Keep the fryer on a non-combustible, flat surface.
- Have a three-foot safety zone around the fryer for kids and pets to protect against burn injuries.
- Thaw the turkey completely before frying.
- Check the temperature of your fryer frequently so the oil doesn’t overheat.
- Use the manufacturer’s guidelines for using the fryer.
- The pot, lid, and handles will be dangerously hot and could cause burn injuries. Long cooking gloves that protect hands and arms should be used.
Lastly, Sanders says that all homes should be equipped with working smoke alarms. “Working smoke alarms can cut your risk of fire death in half,” he comments. Rutherford County Fire & Rescue can come inspect and/or install free alarms for citizens in the county. Contact the office at 615-867-4626 Monday-Friday 8:00 am-4:30 pm to schedule an installation.
“Our hope is that with these safety tips, our citizens are able to enjoy a fun and safe time with family without an unexpected visit from the fire department,” says Sanders.