Reasons to stay alert this Thanksgiving

The Wabash Township Fire Department sees an increase of cooking-related fires around the holiday season. (WLFI Photo)
The Wabash Township Fire Department sees an increase of cooking-related fires around the holiday season. (WLFI Photo)

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — The Wabash Township Fire Department sees an increase of cooking-related fires around the holiday season.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, Thanksgiving is the leading day for cooking fires. For the past few years close to four times as many fires occur on this holiday.

“We definitely don’t want to come see you on the holidays,” said Public Information Officer Kevin McCombs with the Wabash Township Fire Department.

McCombs wants to avoid going to cooking fires, especially around Thanksgiving.

“From people not being familiar with all the processes of cooking a big meal for people and just doing it unsafely,” said McCombs.

Especially, if you plan to fry your turkey this year. Before adding your turkey to the fryer, make sure to properly thaw the bird. McCombs said check to ensure the core is unfrozen.

“Because that could disperse the oil onto the flames and create a big fire ball,” said McCombs.

It’s also important to use the correct amount and type of oil. Move your fryer far from your home and deck and make sure you’re cooking on a stable surface.

McCombs had relatives who had problems while frying a turkey before.

“With the stands being up so high and the pot sitting on top of those, that the center of gravity is a little bit high. So if you do knock it or bump it, it could flip over,” said McCombs. “And they’ve actually spilled the oil onto their foot and had burns.”

If you’re cooking inside, test all the smoke alarms. McCombs recommends staying in the kitchen while cooking. If you do leave the room, turn off your stove.

“People may walk away from the oven and forget while they’re entertaining guests, and let that cook a little bit longer or set times differently,” he said.

Which may lead to a fire and if that happens, make sure a fire extinguisher is close by. McCombs wants everyone to stay safe and to have an enjoyable holiday season.

The National Fire Protection Association does not recommend people use turkey fryers. If you do prefer fried turkey, the NFPA recommends buying one from a grocery store, specialty food retailer or restaurant.