The Houston Fire Department Offers Safety Tips for Thanksgiving Holiday

The Houston Fire Department wants everyone to have a safe and happy holiday by keeping some simple safety tips in mind while celebrating and decorating for the holiday season. According to the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires, followed by Christmas Day and Christmas Eve.

Cooking Safety Tips:

• Always have a working smoke detector
• Never leave cooking food unattended
• Turn pot handles away from the front of the stove and never position them over another burner
• Make sure pot holders are not too close to the stove
• Wear short sleeves or tight-fitting long sleeves
• Shield yourself from scalding steam when lifting lids from hot pots
• Keep broilers, ovens, stove tops and exhaust ducts free from grease
• If there is a fire in the oven-Turn off the oven and keep the oven door closed
• Use an ABC fire extinguisher, baking soda or a tight-fitting pot lid, never flour or water, to extinguish a kitchen fire

Turkey Fryer Safety Tips:

• Turkey fryers are extremely dangerous
• Always use turkey fryers outdoors away from anything that can burn
• Never use them on wooden decks or in garages
• Never leave the fryer unattended or let children or pets near the fryer
• The oil will remain dangerously hot hours after use
• Never overfill a fryer and make sure the turkey is completely thawed
• Keep an all-purpose fire extinguisher nearby. Never use water to extinguish the fire
• You Will Need: In addition to a completely thawed turkey, you’ll need a 40 or 60 quart pot with basket or turkey frying hardware, plus a propane gas tank and burner, a candy/deep fry thermometer, a meat thermometer and lots of oil. Use oils that have a high smoke point, such as corn, peanut or canola oils.

As far as the turkey itself goes, smaller birds work better for frying. Try not to go over 15 lbs. Before You Fry- Please read and follow all manufacturers instructions.

These tips will help to prevent oil overflow: Before beginning, (and before you even season or marinate your turkey) determine the amount of oil you’ll need by placing the turkey in the basket (or on the hanger, depending on the type of fryer you are using) and putting it in the pot. Add water until it reaches about two inches above the turkey. Remove the turkey and note the water level by using a ruler to measure the distance from the top of the pot to the surface of the water. Remove the water and thoroughly dry the pot. Now add enough oil to equal what the water level was without the turkey in the pot.